Antique French Sterling Silver Gold Vermeil Travel Gift Set
Rare antique early 19th century French sterling silver 4pc table flatware service, gift set, for one. Comprising of a fork, spoon and two knives. Skillfully crafted from the highest quality French silver enhanced with gilt vermeil finish. The set features handles carved from solid abalone shell. Simply stunning, the abalone exhibits gorgeous flashes of intense iridescent colors including cobalt blue and peacock green, purple and hints of pink. Decorated with ornate silver ferrules and terminals patterned with grape clusters and leaves on curling vines, accented further with stylized foliage. The knives comprise of one with a silver blade and the other with a steel blade. These gift sets were personal travel dining implements intended to be carried and used by a single person. They are somewhat smaller than later pieces and the handles are extraordinary. Please see pictures for measurements.
The fork and spoon are hallmarked with the Michel Ange or Michelangelo / Vieillard 1st standard mark to denote a silver content of .950/1000 (95% pure silver and a higher grade of silver than .925 sterling ) and guarantee mark for Paris, both marks were in use from 1819 to 1838. Bearing maker's mark for silversmith Louis-Alexandre Bruneau (active from 1823 - 1843). The knife bearing a Vieillard 2nd standard mark for .800 silver, guarantee mark and cutler's mark. The three pieces are also marked with the post-1838 Minerve 2nd standard mark with an assay office symbol. In overall good antique condition. Some general wear/scratches from use and age. Discoloration to the steel blade as shown (pre-stainless steel). The ferrule on the fork and steel knife having a side split. The very bottom of the terminal on the steel knife has a dent and split. Abalone shell has a natural rough surface and is int good condition. Housed in the original fitted presentation box. Having housed the set protectively all these years, the box does shows its age and lacks clasps at the front.