Exquisite antique Art Nouveau French sterling silver 5-piece hors d'oeuvre serving set, circa 1903-1910. Comprising of a 3-tine fork, sugar tongs, round spoon, flat blade server and shovel form server. With finely engraved details and pierce-work to the flat server. Richly decorated with holly and mistletoe foliage. The handles feature a rare neo-gothic pattern with bas-relief Fer de Lance (spearhead) at the service ends further embellished with 'ironwork' motifs and C-scrolling. Monogrammed with interlaced initials MS. In good condition with general wear. Please see pictures for measurements. Total silver weight is 168.3 grams. This fine French sterling service housed in the original presentation box, box shows wear commensurate with age.
Each piece is hallmarked with the French Minerve 1st standard mark, depicting 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). Interestingly. there are two slightly different maker's marks on this set, but from the same silversmith / silver shop. Likely the set was completed at a later date. Marks of initials MR with a mallet symbol are for Rousseau Maillard (this mark was registered from 1903-1905), followed by marks of initials OM for Orfèvrerie Maillard (this mark registered from 1905-1910). Rousseau commenced trade at 113 rue de Turenne, Paris and was active through 1897 to 1910.
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