A Rare and Delicate Antique French Silver ‘Bonbons’ (Candy) Service Set by HENIN & Cie.
Though called a Bonbon Service Set, they were more considered as Dessert Service Sets and could come with several different implements.
They became one of the gifts of preference for a wedding and were rarely composed of more then 4 pieces, hence the fact that the set we have here is really exceptional.
One could choose between different implements on offer, ranging from several types of spoons, to sugar tongs and pie ladles.
Our lovely set by Henin all sport ‘Manche A La Russe’or Russian style handles, which was rather rare on these pieces, they start by being square and then move on to become 8 sided. All sides are lightly carved with palmettos. The handles end in a rounded spike.
The loveliest part is the work on the spoons bodies which are hand carved with geometric cut outs of an incredible delicacy!
Starting by looking at the full picture of the implement (1st picture) on the left hand side we have a Sugar Sifter spoon with incredible cut out work on the spoon body (8.1 inches long)!
Then we have our Strawberry Spoon with the main part beautifully carved on both sides into an incredibly accurate scallop shell (8.6 inches long)
Third from the left comes a larger spoon used to serve fruits, with its left hand side slightly raised in order to hold them better on the spoon (20.8 inches long). The fourth piece is a pie cutter and server (9.4 inches long).
The fifth piece is a Bonbon spoon that could let the sugar seep through its beautiful cut out spoon body, making the bonbon a little easier to handle (6.6 inches long)
Finally we have our ‘Petits Fours’ server,that could also be used to serve ‘Fondants’a kind of light melting candy (6.70 inches long)
All pieces are in great state! No marks or losses to the silver. The work on them is just exquisite!
The Hallmark is Minerva 1-1st title – 1838 -1911 – Paris
The Makers Mark is for HENIN & Compagnie. It shows an H the sign & and a C topped by a branch and a star underneath the letters.
The Mark was registered on May 11th 1875. Their shop was located at 33 Rue Des Archives in the Marais area of Paris.
Henin & Compagnie were the successors of Thomas & Henin which first started in 1865. They were followed by Henin Freres which registered their mark by August 1865 and cancelled it in August 1872. In turn they were followed by Henin & Fils which finally gave way to Henin & Compagnie in 1875.
Henin & Compagnie were in turn followed by Henin & Vivier in 1891.
In 1933 the dynasty gave way to the House of Henin.