In 19th century France, sterling silver flatware was a traditional wedding gift. Often purchased in parts, the teaspoon or small dessert spoon or coffee spoon was typically made in .950/1000 pure silver or perhaps .800/1000 pure silver (more sturdy for small utensils like these or sewing items, etc), and since it is considered a dessert spoon, usually coated in a generous layer of 18k gold, and called "vermeil". Also traditional, French flatware is sold in multiples of 6 rather than 8 as we're used to in USA silver. This is a beautifully boxed set of 12 such spoons. The box, wood covered in leather has the mark of the distributor noted in gold embossment on the silk interior. I have shown the goldsmiths' or silversmith's mark and the set is by top maker, Henin & Cie, befitting in 1896, that silver firm and all its patterns are now owned by Hermés, having been folded into Puiforcat which was purchased entirely some 10 years ago by Hermés, PARIS. This set would be early, c. 1900.
Very good to excellent for age and type. These are stunningly beautiful the handles and bowls glowing with thick 18k gold, but note that the backs of the bowls do indicate the set has been used, slight abrasions there likely caused by teeth or stirring coffee against the cup's edges. For the most part, the 18k coating is well-retained and the spoons are heavy (for teaspoons) and substantial. Patterns were not named. Silversmiths were, and the strict controls of precious metals in France is guaranteed with the control marks. Minerve #1 is the finest, at .950/1000 pure silver. The vermeil, or gold layered pieces require a thicker layering of 18k gold than any other Nation, as well. I had to have a fork re-gilded years ago for a customer - just the gold on tines had worn away, and the cost for the single fork was over $120 for the gold. Full measurements are noted on the photos.