An Absolutely Exquisite Antique French Silver And Crystal ‘Drageoir’ by ‘Maitre Orfèvre’ L RUCHMANN.
In France we call them ‘Drageoir’ or ‘Confiturier’, but the only official name is a ‘Confiturier’ (Hence a Jam container), and it turns out that originally they were only thought of, and used, as Ceremonial Sugar Bowls.
The details on this piece are just beautiful.
The main scene is taken from the Greek register and describes the lesson in love given to a very young Cupid by Mercury.
Cupid is seen here with a tiny pair of wings, standing in front of his mother Venus in a forest and listening to the advices of Mercury who has wrapped a rose garland around him.
The scene stands as a symbol of the purity of love but also of ‘Terrestrial’ Love.
The central register shows 4 designs – 2 of each kind. The main one shows the scene with Cupid, while the second one shows light floral arabesques.
The very upper register is delicately carved with a geometrical wreath, while the lower body register shows floral arabesque wreath.
The upper level of the main silver bowl is lined with a gorgeous laurel leaf wreath.
The lid is topped by a Cornucopia shaped finial resting on a crown of acanthus leaves.
The handles are delicately carved with acanthus leaves and a small rosette.
The square pedestal rests on four acanthus leaves. The upper level of the pedestal terrace is delicately cut out with a geometric pattern, while its lower one shows a flower motif.
The bowl insert is white crystal and is in perfect condition.
It is an absolutely gorgeous work of art!
The Year Hallmark is Poinçon Au Vieillard (Or Michael Angelo Hallmark) (first title 950/1000) for Paris 1819-1838.
Another wonderful detail for the collectors: The piece is also marked with what is known as a ‘Head of a Greek Women’ with the letter P on the left hand side for Paris.
This is a hallmark that was used during the Revolution between 1793 and 1794, which may mean that Ruchmann took up an earlier piece and finished it.
The Makers Mark is for L RUCHMANN and shows his two initials.
He was received Master in Paris in 1811.
He held shop first at 15 Rue de La Calandre, then moved in 1814 to 45 Rue St Germain L’Auxerrois, before moving one last time to 22 Cour de Harlay in 1820, shortly before he stopped working.