Exquisite early 19thc French Empire sterling silver grand double open salt cellar by master silversmith Ambroise MIGNEROT. The salt cellar caddy rests on a tripod base with classical caryatid figural mounts and hoof feet. The openwork body with a pierced frieze of palmettes, supporting two old hand blown thick glass inserts. The central handle patterned as a lyre. Further decorated with Empire motifs, including opposing dolphins, rising suns, palmettes and foliage adorning an escutcheon cartouche. Surmounted by a finial designed as a laurel crown. Very finely crafted from the highest quality silver. It is appropriately stamped with the 1809-1819 French Coq 1st standard silver mark (.950) and guarantee marks for the city of Paris. The piece is marked with what is known as a ‘head of a Greek woman’ with the letter P for Paris on the left hand side. This is a hallmark that was used during the Revolution between 1793 and 1794 in Paris, which would mean that Ambroise Mignerot would have designed the piece earlier and then re-introduced it, or finished work on it, sometime after 1800. Maker's marks for silversmith Ambroise Mignerot, active 1800 to 1818 in Paris. His offices were first located at 2 rue Jean Robert, then 62 Rue du Temple. Mignerot took under his wing a young Denis Garreau that would later inherit his offices. Mignerot is widely known for Empire tableware, including mustard pots, salt cellars and vinaigrette holders.
Measures 6 7/8" wide and stands 7" tall. Silver weight of 158.2 grams. Glass inserts are 1 1/2" tall x 2 3/4" diameter opening. In overall good condition. Glass inserts are hand blown, having air bubbles and deposits. The strings on the lyre appear to have been resoldered, please see pictures. There is a worn armorial coat of arm on the escutcheon cartouche as shown.
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Quality Antiques, Sterling Silver, Porcelain & Decorative Arts