JUST in time for the Holidays, these are guaranteed to impress! Here we have an absolutely exquisite & rare antique French Napoleon III era 18k gold on sterling silver "vermeil" 60pc dessert, luncheon or entremet flatware set with highly ornate figural patterns including large raised "R" monograms, regal lion head mascaron figures & solid mother of pearl handled knives! WOW! Aren't these gorgeous! All virtually dripping gold and the pattern as fine as any weâve offered. Museum quality really, I'd not be surprised to see a set such as this on display in the Napoleon III apartments in the Louvre, given as a gift to the Emperor perhaps? Laurel branch & acanthus accenting, those fabulous mascaron style lion heads with large raised or applied "R" monograms on the backs and what a rare comprehensive ensemble. The set consists of twenty-four forks, twenty-four spoons and twelve shimmering mother of pearl handled knives. Just in from France and as stunning as can be. All bear the French Minerve or Minerva hallmark, the tiny number "1" within those marks means theyâre in .950 sterling silver under that thick layer of gold (95% pure and higher than the .925 standard for "sterling" silver). The silversmith marks are for Jules Piault, Paris circa 1850-1880s. Piault exhibited in the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle and was awarded gold medals at both the 1879 Sydney and 1880 Melbourne International Exhibitions. Jules Piault was succeeded by Robert Linzeler at 68 rue de Turbigo in Paris in 1897. A truly rare and magnificent set, donât miss them!
Very good to excellent condition. Just as you see them with hardly a sign of wear or loss to the gold plating. Some very light surface scuffs, indicative of light use in their 100+ years. Some wear marks to the knife blades but mostly confined to the areas right around the hallmarks. The knives by the same silversmith and, although likely original, it is possible that they were added (knives were most often not included in sets and never given with sets as gifts). I did notice one small dimple in a spoon bowl while photographing so itâs possible there are one or two more but they really are all in superb shape. The set has a total weight of 3280 grams or 105.5 troy ounces (2760 grams or 88.7 troy ounces not counting knives). Thick & heavy old French sterling silver, thick gold plating. See pictures for all individual weights and measurements.
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