This Gorgeous Antique French Silver and Crystal Set is rather rare to come by, and is the work of an excellent Maitre Orfèvre Emile PUIFORCAT.
The set consists of 2 Antique Silver Open Salt and Pepper Caddies or Cellars and 1 matching Condiment (or Mustard) Pot.
The Empire Style design is very pure and very elegant with Swans standing with their outstretched wings to hold up the vessels that will contain the condiments.
The 2 salt and pepper cellars are removable for better cleaning.
The Swans stand on an oval platform delicately lined with laurel leaves.
The Mustard pot features the same Swans upholding the crystal vessel, but on a round base this time. the pot also has a lovely silver lid topped by a spinel resting on a crown of laurel leaves.
The Cobalt blue insert in the Condiment pot is original to the piece.
The Salt cellar are 5.03 inches high and 4.29 inches long.
The Mustard pot is 4.72 inches high and 4.52 inches long at the handle.
An absolutely gorgeous set!
The Hallmark is Minerve 1 -1st title (950/1000) – Hence 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 Hermès in 1993.