I personally absolutely love this piece and fought against one of the Louvre Antiquaries in order to obtain it!
It is a ‘Main Pince’ or Silver Asparagus Tongs that was created by the Maitre Orfèvre Alphonse DEBAIN in Paris – He became quite known for his service items and specialized in this model (the Main pince) which was actually discussed in the official publications of the Exposition Universelle De Paris in 1889.
His work on Art Nouveau pieces is really exquisite and you will see quite a few of his pieces in our collection.
This Antique Silver Tongs has a beautiful ‘Repoussé’ detailing with an incredible Chimera Head decorating its center. The gorgeous cutaway work shows in great details wreaths of wild plants and flowers.
It fits perfectly in the hand and is in exquisite condition with the spring located in the hinged joint still working perfectly. Though it is meant to serve Asparagus it may also be used as a bread or pastry server.
The Hallmark is Minerve 1 -1st title – Hence 1838 to 1919 – Paris
The Makers Mark is for Alphonse DEBAIN. Alphonse DEBAIN was the son of Alphonse Edouard DEBAIN and his Mark was in-sculpted on March 19th 1883 – It was canceled (biffé) on March 8th 1911. This piece is a gorgeous example of his work