Charming Antique French Silver Butter Dish by ‘Maître Orfèvre’ Émile PUIFORCAT
This piece outlines the refinement the table attained in the mid to late 1800s.
The Butter dish consists of a silver body worked with a silver pear line and Tulip ‘vignettes’ surrounded by vertical lines.
The handles showcase beautifully carved Acanthus leaves.
The silver body protects a lovely crystal insert with a Star shaped wheel cut bottom.
The lid of the dish is gorgeous. topped by a finial showcasing a rose décor, while the main part of the lid is decorated with a Rose garland linked by flowing ribbons.
The silver and crystal ‘Présentoir’, or display dish, on which the butter dish is resting, is beautifully worked into a slightly dipping plate and is lined with a geometrically decorated silver edge; it features a lovely wheel cut star at the bottom.
The piece is lightly ‘Vermeillé’ or 18 carat gold coated.
A lovely find!
It is absolutely impeccable, no dents, no marks, no scratches…just pristine!
The Hallmark is Minerve 1 -1st title – 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.