Elegant antique French Napoleon III to Belle Epoque era .800 (nearly sterling) silver & carved ivory 12pc entremet or dessert sized knife set! A beautiful set of twelve here, solid hand carved genuine ivory handles with hallmarked French silver blades and all in wonderful condition! The blades all bear the French Minerve or Minerva hallmark, the shape and tiny number "2" within the marks means they're in .800 or better silver (80% pure so just under the .925 standard for "sterling" silver). The slightly lower silver content is quite common in French knife blades due to the added durability it affords. Silversmith marks are for Benjamin Poisson, Paris circa 1871.
Very good condition. There are a few visible hairline cracks in the handles but no real damage, just a natural age flaw. A few marks on blades but all in wonderful shape, as you can see in the images. The box may not be original but works and is roughly similar in age. See pictures for weights and measurements.
The vast majority of worked and antique object tortoise shell material comes from the shells of two species of sea turtles: the hawksbill (Eretmo-chelys imbricata) and, more rarely, the green turtle (see box A). The shells of these turtles exhibit attractive patterns that normally consist of light to dark brown patches, though a homogeneous “cream”-colored variety called blond tortoise shell also exists.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.