Antique French sterling silver over the cup tea strainer by Puiforcat. The handle is beautifully decorated with classic Empire motifs - swans with spreading wings, palmettes, laurel crowns, and pine cones. Having a reticulated border surrounding a finely pierced bowl, topped by an intricate foliate finial. Finished in exquisite gold vermeil. In overall good condition with general wear. 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). Maker's mark for prestigious Parisian silversmith Emile PUIFORCAT, who commenced trading in 1857. Measures 6 3/8" length x 1 3/8" diameter. Weighs 44.3 grams. Housed in the original presentation box. Box measures 7 1/2" x 3 3/8" x 1 1/2" height.