A Lovely Antique French Silver Drageoir by Pierre Jacques Meurice.
In France we call them ‘Drageoir’ and it is widely thought that, originally, they were only used as Ceremonial Sugar Bowls.
The details on this piece are lovely, revolving around abundance!
The upper register on the main body shows 4 designs – 2 of each kind.
The main one shows a a beautiful fruit cup, overflowing with grapes, pomegranate, apples, oranges and watermelons.
The Fruit cup is enclosed in a laurel leaf wreath.
The Side register shows two tritons or dolphins with their tails intertwined.
The very upper register is delicately carved with an exquisite geometrical lace wreath, which is found again on the four sides of the pedestal.
The handles show a very gorgeous Cornucopia and a palmetto.
The finial features two other cornucopias and silver pearls.
The bowl insert is white crystal with ‘facets’, with a star at the bottom; it is original and in perfect condition.
The Cornucopia theme means of course abundance of blessing in one’s life, while the dolphin’s signify purity of sentiments and romance.
Making this charming sugar bowl a lovely wedding gift.
The Hallmark is Poinçon Vieillard (or Michael Ange) 1 -1st title (950/1000)- 1819 to 1838 – Paris.
The Maker’s Mark is for Pierre Jacques MEURICE. One of the best Maître Orfèvre of his time.
The Mark shows a P and an M on both sides of a spear of wheat, resting on top of a crescent.
Pierre Jacques MEURICE was received as Master in 1806 and established his shop at 12 Cloitre Notre Dame; he then moved in 1811 to the Arcade St Jean very close to the Hotel De Ville de Paris, and finally stepped down in 1828.
He was the Stepfather of François Desire FROMENT, who he would take under his wing, highly influencing his work and to whom he would eventually turn his workshop to in 1828.
To honor his stepfather François Desire FROMENT would take up his name and really reached the height of his fame as FROMENT MEURICE starting 1839.