Antique French Napoleon III era sterling silver sugar tongs. Decorated with an intricate Gordian knot pattern terminating to gothic style lion's paws with nice detail to the fur texture and fierce claws. Monogrammed with engraved initials C.B. in gothic script. Hallmarked on both sides with the French Minerve 1st standard mark, in use from 1838, which guaranteed the finest quality silver of .950/1000 purity (95% pure silver and a higher grade than the standard .925 for sterling). Maker's marks for silversmith Philippe Berthier, active 1841-1851. Thick gauge silver, sturdy with a good weight in hand, not flimsy or easily bent. Quality French silver. In good antique condition with general wear commensurate with age and use. Measures 6 5/8" length. Weighs 75.8 grams.
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Quality Antiques, Sterling Silver, Porcelain & Decorative Arts