An absolutely Lovely Antique French Silver and Crystal Drageoir by Denis GARREAU!
Though the term ‘Confiturier’ literally means Jam Holder, it appears that originally it was mostly used as a ceremonial sugar bowl.
Let us start by the upper part:
The cover or lid is slightly dome shaped and circled by a line of silver pearls.
The ‘Frétel’ or Finial is beautiful, it showcases a finally detailed Swan with outstretched Wings resting on a shell. So fine is the work you can actually see each feather as well as the shell details! The Finial rests on a crown outlined by a wreath of acanthus leaves.
The Drageoir’s main part is shaped as a Medicis Vase.
The upper register of the vase is lined with a circle of solid silver decorated on its edge by Acanthus leaves.
The handles consist of two delicately decorated acanthus leaves holding in the middle a nest with 2 doves.
The Main register of the Medicis Vase is decorated with 2 beautiful dolphins with a conch shell resting above, on the opposites sides by two finely chiseled Palmettos.
The square base rests on four silver pearls.
The insert is clear solid crystal decorated with wheel cut facettes, it is original to the piece, and does bear a micro chip, which is not visible once the crystal is in place in the silver holder.
The Hallmark is ‘Poinçon Au Vieillard’ -1st title -1819-1838- Paris
The Makers Mark for the Confiturier is that of Denis GARREAU. It shows a D and a G topped by a ‘Navette’ (or boat)
GARREAU was the successor of Ambroise MIGNEROT and specialized in larger decorational pieces (called in French ‘Pièces De Forme’), particularly ‘Drageoir’ and ‘Confiturier’. His mark was created in 1817. His offices were located at 62 Rue du Temple, in what is today the Marais area of Paris.