Gorgeous and Delicate Antique French Silver ‘Hors D’oeuvres’ Service Set by ‘Maître Orfèvre’ Emile PUIFORCAT
The Hors D’oeuvre Service Sets were usually sold separately from the ‘Ménagère’ and tailored to order.
One could choose between different implements on offer, ranging from several types of olive and gherkin spoons to pate slice or servers, butter knives and sardine forks.
This charming set is in the Louis XVI Style with delicate Laurel Leaf designs on the handles.
The work on the spoons and pate servers is absolutely beautiful with delicate acanthus leaves delicately cut out.
The Pate server and the Gherkin Fork show lovely Reeds carved into the blade and tines.
Starting by looking at the full picture of the implements (1st picture) on the left hand side we have a pâté knife/server. (7.2 inches long)
Second from the left comes the Pickled vegetable server, which stands at 6 inches long.
It is followed in turn by the Olive Spoon, which measures 6.4 inches.
The last piece is a Sardine Fork, which is 6.3 inches long.
All pieces are in great state! No marks or losses to the silver. The work on them is just exquisite!
They come in their original fitted box which is in excellent condition.
The Hallmark is Minerva 1-1st title (950/1000)- 1838 -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.