Elegant Antique French Silver and Mirror Table Center Piece or Surtout by Maîtres Orfèvres Tetards Frères.
The Set is worked in the louis XVI Style with a double line on the side of the pieces with acanthus foliage clasps at regular intervals.
The Surtout consists of 3 pieces that are either usable together or can also be separated with only the center piece used.
Each piece is lined with a mirror and backed in mahogany wood.
The oval Jardinière or flower center piece is decorated with the same pattern in an asymmetrical curved shape. The lining of the Jardinière is made of silvered metal.
It is at the time of the Sun King, Louis XV, as described in the famous work the ‘Mercury’, that is defined the term ‘Surtout’ on the occasion of the reception given by duke of Orleans for the English ambassador in his residence of Saint-Cloud.
The ‘Surtout’ is originally a piece of silverware that gathers in the center of the table saltshakers, spice boxes and candleholders. The reason of its appearance obeys a practical reason: the French service and its abundance of dishes and service.
Among the rotation of dishes, only the spices remain. From there was born the idea of creating a fixed space that would become a wonderful pretext for the wildest decorative extravagances for the silversmiths of the eighteenth century, such as the one made by Just-Aurèle Meissonnier for the Duke of Kinston in 1735!
Under the First Empire, the pleasure of ‘taste’ is reinforced by the wonder of the eyes and the glitter of the top which is lined with mirror is used to reflect the light of the torches and candelabras. A luxury item, it remains the prerogative of the silversmiths.
Dimensions of the jardinière:
Height / Depth: 4.52 inches – Width : 11.02 inches – Length: 17.71 inches
Silver Weight: 31.80 ounces
Total Weight with interior: 67.80 ounces
Dimension of the Surtout:
Central part: Height : 1 inch- Width : 17.7 inches – length: 25.7 inches
Side parts (Each): Height : 1 inch – Width : 12.7 inches – length: 2.7 inches
Gross weight : 2650 g Total gross weight : 17 650 g
Total weight of Surtout: 17.31 lbs
Total weight of Surtout with Jardiniere: 21.61 lbs
The Hallmark is Minerva 1 – 1st title (950/1000) for Paris 1838/1919
The Makers Mark is for Tétard Frères.
It is shown as a Mark with the T Frères topped by a kettle.
The Mark was registered in 1903, taking over from Edmond TETARD.
The workshop was located 4 rue Béranger in Paris