Plique `a jour is a wonderful translucent/transparent enamel technique where the enamel is fired inside metal borders called cells. The French name loosely translates to "glimpse of day" or "letting in the daylight". It is very similar to Cloisonne which is opaque enamel fired inside metal borders. To relate to the concept think of that super stained glass window in your neighborhood church. Our spoon's bowl is a mix of Plique and Cloisonne enamel work with the top of the handle being only Plique. The Plique contains a wonderful mix and sometimes blending of colors of cobalt blue, purple, lime, emerald green, crimson, orange red blend, lavender, peacock blue, pale gold and light sapphire blue. All of the Plique cell rims are a modified notched rope pattern that fit perfectly with the curved handle. The Cloisonne has colors of off white, cobalt blue, peacock, crimson, scarlet and a gray toned aqua all within smooth topped rims.
The Plique and Cloisonne are in excellent condition with no missing cells or repairs noted. When inspecting with a 10 power loupe you can find some occasional minute crazing or some of those tiny, approx. 1/32", surface only flakes to the enamels from use as is normal and expected.
The sterling is also in excellent condition with no rips, dents, holes, nasty scratches, abrasions or repairs. The vermeil (a form of gold plating) is also excellent with a lovely mellow fairly even toned gold through out the entire spoon.
The marks are on the backside of the handle. It is what I call the David Andersen hammer/pitchfork hallmark and a Sterling mark. Per one of our resources this hallmark originated in approx. 1888 with an "830 S" silver content and used till 1925. Per an article I read in "Modern Silver Magazine" this same hallmark was used with "925 S" sterling silver from 1924-39. So I am going to use a 1910 circa. The spoon is a bit difficult to measure. I have laid it on it's side as seen in photo #4. It measures 5" from the tip of the bowl to the tip of the handle end. The super bowl is 2 3/16" long x 1 5/16" at widest point. As a side note: This is the most beautiful tea caddy spoon we have ever owned!
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