An Elegant and Rare Antique French Silver Coffee and Tea Selfish Set by ‘Maitre Orfèvre’ Emile PUIFORCAT.
It was called a ‘Tête à Tête’ set and was done to serve two guests.
The set is in solid silver and has mahogany handles.
It is an incredible work of art and shows a refinement few Master Silversmiths managed to attain…
The Empire style is extremely pure and shines through, giving a lovely aspect.
The set consists of an ‘Egoïste’ (Selfish) Coffee Pot, An ‘Egoïste’ Teapot, an Adorable matching Creamer, and the lovely matching Sugar Casket.
The teapot and the creamer are particularly charming!
The bodies of the four pieces are decorated with simple lines of laurel leaves on the upper register and the lower register. All handles are attached with a nicely carved silver rosette.
I particularly like the flat lids which are very modern, and very elegant….
The Finials, or ‘Frétel’, are in the form of an acorn.
It is very rare to find a full set, in such a pristine state!
The measures are as follows:
Coffee Pot: 5.51 inches high
Tea Pot: 5.11 inches high
Creamer: 3.62 inches high
Sugar Casket: 4.25 inches high
The Hallmark is Minerve 1 -1st title (950/1000)- 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.