A Beautiful French Silver Condiment Set dating back to 1789, by Maître Orfèvre Jean François Grouvelle
Consisting of four Master Salts and one Mustard Pot, this set dates back to the louis XVI time and is a perfect example of the time’s décor.
The salt cellars silver belts decorated with flowers in the center of a geometric design alternating with fleurons’ framing a medallion of pearls.
The mustard pot has a hinged lid decorated with gadroons and canals separated by a row of pearls, the pine cone finial rests on a terrace of radiating leaves.
The inserts are in cobalt blue crystal and are intact.
As usual the particularity of these pieces apart from their lovely aspect is the fact that they pre date the French Revolution by a few months..
Hence the fact that they avoided destruction during that period is always a wonder…
Indeed these objects were created at the end of the Old Regime.
The Salt cellars are 3.14 inches long x 2.16 inches wide x 1.96 inches high.
The Mustard pot measures: 4.52 inches high x 3.36 inches wide.
The Fermiers Généraux Marks for Paris are strikingly crisp and beautiful on it:
Photo # 6:
The Year Hallmark or Poinçon de Jurande is a Crowned P used by Fermier General (Tax collector in essence) Jean François Kalendrin in Paris starting September 11th 1789 (Notice the tiny 89 right below the crown…)and until the end of 1789 with the unraveling of the French Revolution.
Interestingly Jean Francois Kalendrin refused to pick up his old charge when requested to do so in 1791 (though in a new format)and preferred to immigrate.
Photo # 7: We have the Discharge Mark (in essence taxes were paid and object was finished and ready to be sold) featuring a leaf which was used starting February 23rd 1789 until the end of the Old Regime.
Hence we can pinpoint the creation of the lovely ensemble to 1789 after February.
Photo # 8:
On the left hand side, we have the FG Mark topped by a Crowned fleur de Lys with a rose in between, which was registered by Jean François Grouvelle on May 3rd, 1788, in Paris and used until the last months before the Old Regime collapsed.
Jean François Grouvelle was born on December 27th 1755 to Henry François Grouvelle, himself the son of François Grouvelle , and grandson of Antoine François Grouvelle the patriarch of an incredible family of Master Silversmiths.
The records show him Rue de la Barillerie in Paris
On the same photo (on the right-hand side and upside down!) we also have the A in a circle that was used as a Charge Mark (for the right to create) starting February 23rd 1789 and until the Old Regime Marks and status were reformed.