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Emile Puiforcat: Antique Sterling Silver Vermeil Art Nouveau Tongs
Puiforcat's splendid Art Nouveau Iris pattern realized in a pair of vermeil tongs. How is it that the French develop such immensely beautiful patterns without ever moving into excess, yet not stripping the subject to it's simplest form as Oriental art so often does? Puiforcat's Iris pattern is certainly a perfect example of this precision; not too much not too little. The tongs are decorated with a cartouche on either side filled with irises, strapping with foliate details. The decoration is perfect. The tongs terminate with paws with claws, nice detail in the fur. Condition of the piece is very good. Perhaps some wear to the 18 carat gold in places. I can think of no lovelier gift for Mother's day, celebrating Spring and growth.
Dimensions: The tongs are 5.5" long, 1: wide and weigh 74 grams.
Marks: Interesting marks here. The piece is actually double struck. It has the Puiforcat punch clear as day. And off to the upper right a second punch for Albert Boyer is to be found. There is also a part of the edge marked for Boyer. A mystery. Puiforcat was active in Paris from 1857-1923, one of the most revered names in French sterling silver. Boyer was active in 1894. I think we can safely say that these tongs were made in the late 1800s. Remarkable condition!