A gorgeous antique French Louis XVI style sterling silver gilt vermeil 3-piece tea or coffee serving set by Debain. Comprising of a pair of sugar tongs, tea strainer and sugar sifter spoon with finely pierced bowls. The set features a beautiful two tone finish, mainly gilt vermeil body with silver accents. Lovely neoclassical ornamentation to this set, decorated with scrolling foliate along the handles and a border of laurel leaves surrounds the tea strainer. The sugar tongs are finished with stylized lion paws tipped with fierce claws. The same pattern by Debain is found in David Allen's book on French cutlery. All three pieces are hallmarked with the French Minerve 1st standard mark, which guaranteed the finest quality French sterling silver of .950/1000 purity in use from 1838 (95% pure silver and higher grade than the standard .925 for sterling). Maker's marks for silversmith Alphonse Debain, active 1883-1911 at 79 rue du Temple, Paris. Please see pictures for measurements. Silver weighs a total of 143.6 grams. Overall a beautiful complete set and in very good condition. Housed in the original presentation box with cream satin and green velvet fitted interior, box shows wear commensurate with age.
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