A lovely find, quite rare to come by.
This gorgeous Antique French Silver Strawberry Service Spoon or ‘Pelle a Fraise’is by CHRISTOFLE.
Though mostly known today for his work in silver plated items, Christofle also had hefty collection of Silver items that could be ordered on special request.
This gorgeous piece came also as sugar sifter and as strawberry silverware sold by sets of twelve.
It was originally proposed in plated metal but could be, as is the case with our piece, ordered in solid silver!
This precise model was created in 1898 as is stated in David ALLAN’s lovely book “Le Couvert et La Coutellerie” page 220.
The shape of the spoon itself takes after the form of a Strawberry, while the handle is made out to represent a Strawberry plant, complete with leaves and flowers as well as fruits.
The work is just exquisite!
On our gorgeous piece the spoon is 18 carat gold plated.
It is absolutely beautiful and in mint condition! A beauty!
The Hallmark is Minerve 1 -1st title – Hence 1838 to 1919– Paris
The Makers Mark is for (Maison) CHRISTOFLE and shows two C’s separated by a honey bee, topped by 3 stars.
Dating the creation of the Christofle dynasty is rather hard. Some say 1793, others 1830 or 1842.The first traceable Mark was that of Charles Christofle registered in 1832 on august 1st. It was followed by 2 other Marks registered as Maison Christofle.
The genius of the House of Christopfle was in securing the rights to the ‘Galvanoplastie’ or Electroplating when it was invented in 1837 by Boris Jacobi in St Petersburg in Russia.
Christofle knew by then that numerous households longed for lovely looking silverware, yet could not afford the price. By selling plated silverware he secured a market that no one had really studied, striking gold!!
Yet he also managed to retain a high clientele by offering some of his most beautiful pieces in Pure Silver. This was possible up to 1917. The influence Christofle had on the industry in the later 1800s was quite simply huge!