A very Beautiful and Rare Antique French Silver Melon Forks Set by ‘Maître Orfèvre’ Emile PUIFORCAT
This beautiful set is composed of 12 Forks, with gorgeously worked silver handles and stylish solid silver tines.
The handles showcase an exquisite laurel leave garland as well as a lovely Louis XV style medallion topped by carved leaves and a silver ribbon design.
Inside the medallion we can find the initials RB.
The particularity being that the letters are actually not carved in, but are applied silver decorations, which beautifully stand out and were extremely rare, because they added more silver to the piece – hence made it much more expensive.
The Forks are double edge with the lower edge able to cut through the melon.
A most delightful set!
It is to be compared with the ones featured in David ALLAN’s wonderful book ‘Le Couvert Et La Coutellerie’ page 103 to 107.
While it was created with Melon in mind, it is a perfect Fruit service set, and can be used with a variety of fruits or eve with desserts.
Set in their original very well preserved presentation box , they are a perfect addition to a set and easy to place due to their lovely and elegant design.
The Hallmark is Minerve 1 -1st title (950/1000) – Hence 1838 to 1919 – Paris
The Makers Mark is for Emile PUIFORCAT, and was registered in 1857; it features an E and a P separated by a standing feather.
The mark is still so famous it does deserve a bit more explanations:
Emile PUIFORCAT inherited the business from his uncle Jean Baptiste FUCHS who specialized in flatware in the early 1800s. Emile Puiforcat moved from the offices of his uncle right next door at number 18, then 16 of Rue Chapon. While he died in 1883, his mark was kept by his successor as well as his grandson Jean, who passed away in 1945.
Until the 1880 the House of Puiforcat remained in the flatware business, but expended into the larger pieces to include presentations plates and platters.
Though very praised for its craftsmanship PUIFORCAT never participated in the Fairs that did so much for the Silver business in the 1800. The house continued on through the years and was finally bought by Hermes in 1993.