A Superb Antique French Silver ‘Ménagère’ or Flatware Set by ‘Maitre Orfèvre’ Emile PUIFORCAT.
This beautiful Antique French Silver Flatware Set is complete of all its elements and showcases a multitude of original cases for all the items.
They are all decorated in the Louis XVI Style, showcasing a medallion and floral garlands, as well as acanthus leaves.
All pieces, apart from the knives, bear a monogram featuring the letters T and L.
The monogram is particularly rare as it is not engraved in the silver, but instead is raised silver applied to the flatware, hence adding additional silver to the pieces.
The Cutlery includes:
24 large Forks and Spoons, 24 ‘Entremets’ or Starters Forks and Spoons, 12, Coffee Spoons, 12 Large Knives and 12 Small Knives with Mother of Pearl handles capped with silver and with a silver ferrule (with Steel blades), 12 Oysters forks, 12 Ice Cream Spoons, 4 Hors D’oeuvres Service pieces, 6 Dessert Service pieces, 1 Sugar Sifter Spoon and Sugar tongs and 2 Butter Knives.
The Ice Cream Spoons, Dessert Service pieces, Sugar Sifter and Sugar Tongs are 18 carat gold covered or ‘Vermeillées’.
The pieces are in perfect condition with only the usual slight usage marks.
The presentation boxes show the name of the Re seller in Tourcoing: Maison GRAU (Denis Grau) who was one of most important Jeweller and Silverware provider in the city starting 1830.
A huge silver weight on this set!
Total silver weight is 260.80 oz or 16.30lb
Full weight (with that of the 2 knife sets and the butter knives): 303.47 oz or 19.97lb
The Hallmark is ‘Minerve’ 1 -1st title (950/1000)- 1838 -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.