Rare and impressive 19th century French sterling silver 3 piece traveler's flatware set in the Louis XV pattern by renowned Parisian silversmith Emile Puiforcat. Comprising of a dinner size fork, spoon and knife, all finely housed in the original presentation box. Skillfully crafted from the highest quality .950 purity silver, each piece features exquisite foliage and rocailles. The same pattern identified on plate 11 of the Puiforcat catalogue as Louis XV № 47. The back is unique, bearing an applied insignia of a lion rampant above a banner. The set was gifted from La Société de Tir de Lyon, one of the oldest rifle shooting clubs in France founded on October 18th 1872. 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). Maker's mark for prestigious silversmith Puiforcat. Original steel blade on the dinner knife is marked for Lecoultre et Barral of Lyon
Please see pictures for measurements. Total silver weight of 234.02 grams. The set is in very good condition showing little wear. Housed protectively in the original fitted presentation box. The box features cream colored satin and emerald green velvet lining. The exterior is covered in a semi-reflective silver paper or foiling, embossed with Offert par La Société de Tir de Lyon. The box showing its age. Was retailed by Maison Besson, Lecoultre et Barral, Successeurs, at 10 rue de la République in Lyon.
Founded in 1820 by brothers Emile and Joseph-Marie Puiforcat, the firm soon established itself as a purveyor of fine quality silver tableware in various royal households. Well established and celebrated by the 1920's, the firm was at the forefront in design. The era was ushered in by grandson Jean-Emile Puiforcat, who is noted as the most important silver craftsmen of the Art Deco period. Paris, between the two World Wars, was the center of the art world and the timing of his entry into the world of decorative arts was fortuitous, given his exceptional designs. The close attention to detail and design in Puiforcat silverware allows it to stand alone as a benchmark of quality and beauty. The Puiforcat firm is still in existence today, having been acquired by Hermes in 1993. Today, Puiforcat's period and Deco pieces are highly prized for their hand craftsmanship and exquisite styling.
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