Antique French Sterling Silver Flatware Set Gilt Vermeil Jasper Stone Handles
Rare antique mid-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 .950 purity silver enhanced with a gorgeous gilt vermeil finish. Decorated with ornate service ends and ferrules set within solid hard stone handles carved with elegant fluting. The semiprecious stone we think is jasper, and feature gorgeous molten red and copper coloring. The knives comprise of one with a sterling 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 hard stone handles are extraordinary. Please see pictures for measurements. In overall very good condition. The set appears to have hardly is ever been used and the vermeil finish is in good order. Some discoloration to the steel blade as shown. Housed in the original fitted presentation box with green velvet and satin lined interior. Having housed the set protectively all these years, the box does shows its age, lacking one clasp at the front.
The set is hallmarked with the French Minerve 1st standard mark used from 1838 to 1919, which depicts the goddess Minerva with a number 1 beside her designating a silver content of 950/1000 (of 95% pure silver and higher grade than the standard for .925 sterling silver). Makers marks of B. Fuchs with a plume emblem or symbol, for notable silversmith Jean Baptiste Fuchs, active from 1845-1857, whose workshop was located at 14 rue Chapon in Paris. Jean Baptiste Fuchs was a specialized cutler, crafting high quality silver blades and knives. He was also the uncle of notable silversmiths Emile and Joseph-Marie Puiforcat. He was succeeded by his nephews, who opened shop next door at 18, then at 16, rue Chapon. The fork bearing an overstruck maker's mark for silversmith Jean-François Veyrat.
The steel blade is marked Garnesson Palais Royal. Likely for retailer Maison Garnesson of No. 21 & 22 Palais Royal. Founded by Nicholas-Jacques Garnesson, the shop was located within the galleries of the Palais Royal. The retailer collaborated with important silversmiths and cabinetmakers and were suppliers to the Emperor and the Court.