The subtle irony in luxury: this fine set of crumb trays produced by the iconic name of Cardeilhac, and rarer still, the set consummated by Ernest's daughter Marie-Amélie Cardeilhac, Paris, circa 1905. Rare indeed are the creations of female silversmith's in the history of French sterling silver. So this offering is a remarkable collector's jewel. Please bear these features in mind as you delight your eye upon the superb craftsmanship that boldly proffers in plain view a humble cleaning utensil of radiant beauty and strength. How fitting is this metaphor for a woman's triumph in a less than friendly market? It rather celebrates it all; the talent, acumen and genuine service rendered by the labor of love, that is transcendent. A smile lingers 'neath the glowing admiration emanating from the eyes of those who realize all of this zealotry of desire to create fine work against the odds. in all of French historyGlorious set of crumb trays entirely comprised of heavy solid French sterling silver (just a reminder: the French sterling standard is .950 parts silver, whereas, in the US and UK, .925 parts sterling is the standard). Condition is excellent. The superior weight and heft of the tray pair, protects them from the expectable dings and scuffing associated with their utility . The styling is a sumptuous iteration of the fer de lance pattern boasting a magnificent mascaron on the handle of the long tray. The wide tray handle embellished with a finely executed shell motif, laurel leaf adornment, enclosed within a strapped border, and textured ground. The tray beds engraved with fer de lance features, bell flowers, strapping and textured borders; and edges deeply gadrooned. The juxtaposition we find here of absolute value, luxury and menial purpose, what we might call a marriage of elite and plebeian, emblematic of irony or perhaps of a higher ideal to which we may aspire But who will use the crumb trays, isn;t that the question with which to resolve this query?. And so, of course, a source of social commentary at table. Not to mention an enduring value in semi-precious metal. Just the thing to shake a fist at economic uncertainty in these times. The maker, Amelie Cardeilhac, was the daughter of Ernest Cardeilhac, and heir to the family firm dating from 1804. Maison Cardeilhac a renowned name in French sterling, silversmith to royalty throughout the world, as was his daughter. There are so many awards and medals won by the family of artisans. Amelie contributed her own share of creative genius, well executed and duly honored. The Cardeilhac machines purchased by Christofle in 1951.
Measurements: 10.25" wide, 9" long & 2.25" high on the larger tray. The tray with the long handle is 12.5" long & 3" wide. Combined weight is 746 grams!
Marks: Both trays bear the Minerve 1st titre: french guarantee for .950 sterling silver, as well as the maker's punch for Amelie Cardeilhac 1904-1920.