Elegant and large antique Napoleon III era French sterling silver soup serving ladle. Crafted from the finest quality French sterling silver .950 purity. Featuring a classic double-struck Georgian style fiddle and thread handle with a finely engraved monogram en verso. A sturdy piece of thick solid silver, weighs an impressively heavy 302.02 grams. Hallmarked with the French Minerve 1st standard mark, which depicts the goddess Minerva with a number 1 beside her to denote a silver content of 950/1000 (of 95% pure silver and a higher finesse than .925 sterling). Bearing a silversmith's mark, appears to be L. Bouffet. Measures 15" length with a 4" diameter bowl. Weighs 302.02 grams. In good condition with general wear from use. Housed in the original coffin shaped fitted presentation box with reddish felt lining. Box showing some wear commensurate with age, and has housed the ladle protectively over the years. Box measures 16" length x 3 1/4" height.