An Absolutely Gorgeous Antique French Silver Asparagus Tongs by Alphonse DEBAIN
A beautiful example of this excellent ‘Maître Orfèvre’s’ work!
It is a ‘Main Pince’ or Silver Asparagus Tongs that was created by Maitre Orfèvre Alphonse DEBAIN in Paris.
He became quite known and specialized in this Asparagus Tongs’ model (the Main Pince) which was actually discussed in the official publications of the Exposition Universelle De Paris in 1889 and registered under a patent!
His work with Art Nouveau pieces is quite exquisite and you will see quite a few of his little marvels in our collection.
The tongs has a beautiful ‘Repoussé’ detailing that showcases a full grown Celery Plant in its center. The gorgeous cutaway work shows in great details the veined branches and the central stalk, as well as the leaves that are highlighted by an ‘Amati’ carving.
Usually the plant of choice would have been an acanthus plant, but here Debain chose the more intricate celery stalks to great effect!
It is one of the few existing of that model and work on it is just breathtaking in its purity!
It fits wonderfully in the hand and is in exquisite condition, no losses or marks, with the spring located in the hinged joint still working perfectly.
Though it is meant to serve Asparagus, it may also be used as a bread or pastry server!
The Hallmark is Minerve 1 -1st title (950/1000) – Hence 1838 to 1919 – Paris
The Makers Mark is for Alphonse DEBAIN and shows an A and D separated by a standing Woodcock.
Alphonse DEBAIN was the son of Alphonse Edouard DEBAIN and his Mark was registered on March 19th 1883 – It was cancelled (biffé) on March 8th 1911