Superb set of twelve antique French 1890s Belle Epoque era sterling silver (actually .800 silver) & mother of pearl 8" dessert or luncheon knife set, ornate seashell style and as elegant as can be. That tiny number "2" in the lower right corner of the French Minerve or Minerva hallmark means that the silver content is at least .800 or 80% pure. SO, they're not, strictly speaking, 'sterling silver' but solid silver and the lower purity is common in knife blades due to the extra strength and durability. Solid, genuine mother of pearl handles with ornate seashell & acanthus themed silver caps and collars. There are a few blades with different silversmith marks, surely replacements, with the majority marked by Gillot (an 1880s Parisian silversmith and Henin successor). So, one could connect this set with Puiforcat since both Puiforcat and Henin apprenticed under Debain :). In any event, I'm sure we need not go into that much depth....just look at the photos! Beautiful, a complete set and all in wonderfully preserved condition. Don't miss them.
Very good condition. As noted, a few silver blades are replacements (but early replacements...nothing new). The ball shaped finials at the ends of a few handles is pushed or dented in but there are no cracks, chips or damage to the pearl. Blades and tips are also in great shape (sorry for the little bit of visible tarnish). The box may or may not be original but works just fine for storage. See pictures for measurements.
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