Exquisite antique 19th century French sterling silver flatware service. Napoleon III to Belle Epoque era 38-piece luncheon or dessert set, with 3-piece setting for 12. Classic and elegant, the handles with Gordian knot pattern accented with foliage and scalloped shell details. Each piece finished in rich gold vermeil. Hand engraved on the back of the handles (and the back of the sugar tongs) with an armorial heraldic crest. Detailing two familial coat of arms under a comte crown. Symbolizing the marriage/union of two noble families. Identified as coat of arms for the Comte de Menon linked to the family LeBlanc de Pellissac. Below is the motto of the de Menon family: Ni Deuil, Ni Joie (Do not mourn, Do not rejoice). Interestingly, there was a record between these two houses that likely coincides to the make of this flatware service. The family is as follows: Aimé Gaspard Suffren Alfred DE MENON (1810-1886) mayor of Saint-Savin Isère and son of Joseph Louis Augustin DE MENON, "Comte de Menon" (1773-1843). Married in 1836 to Denise Virginie LEBLANC DE PELISSAC, Marquise de Pelissac (1819-1879).
The service comprises of (12) forks measuring 7 1/8", (12) spoons measuring 7 1/8", (12) teaspoons or coffee spoons measuring 5 3/4". Together with a sugar sifter spoon (8 1/4" length ) and sugar tongs (6 1/8" length). Total silver weight is 2138 grams. In good to excellent condition for its age and appears to have seldom been used. Beautiful quality service. Each piece is fully hallmarked with the French Minerve 1st standard mark, which guaranteed the finest quality French sterling silver of .950/1000 purity in use from 1838 (95% pure silver and a higher grade than the standard .925 for sterling). Bearing maker marks for silversmith Eugène Queillé, son of Pierre-François Queillé, active 1847-1895 at 11 rue des Petits-Carreaux in Paris. The dynasty of the Queille family began with the grandfather, Pierre-François Queillé I in 1808, and was passed down from father to son, ending with Eugène Queillé as the firm was succeeded in 1895 by Antoine Lapparra.