Gorgeous Antique French Gilt Silver and Crystal Finger Bowls set of 12 by Maître Orfèvre Emile Puiforcat in collaboration with Lalique.
Very popular in the later 1870/1880 these practical implements where used mostly when having shellfish during dinner or finger food.
This particular set is worked simply with an 18 Carat Gilt Silver circle laid out on the upper part of the solid crystal bowls.
They rests on removable Crystal and Gilt Silver Bread Plates that are decorated with a beautiful star pattern.
They can of course be used as fruit bowls, or to serve hors d’oeuvres.
They can be used as a set or separately.
The Bread plates are in very heavy crystal by Val St Lambert while the finger bowls are made with Lalique Crystal.
Both crystal parts are signed.
It is a gorgeous set, beautiful as such or individually and extremely versatile.
The bowls due show some very light usage marks, but are otherwise intact.
The Bread plates have a 5.90 inches diameter.
The bowls are 1.77 inches high and 4.74 in diameter
The Gilt Silver Hallmark is Minerve 1 -1st title (950/1000)- 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 Hermes in 1993.