An Amazing and Superb Antique French Gold Coated Silver and Crystal “Confiturier” by D GARREAU!
As already noted in other descriptions it appears however that originally these pieces were mostly used a ceremonial sugar bowl, though the term ‘Confiturier’ literally means Jam Vase.
It is nowadays extremely rare to find “Confiturier’s” still showcasing the spoon holders, on the upper and lower register, hence the importance of this piece!
It is really a Museum worthy piece….The work on this beauty is just Pure Perfection!
The 18 carat gold coating is intact making it all the rarer….
Let us start by the upper part:
The cover or lid is slightly elevated and circled by a line of silver pearls. The ‘Frétel’ or Finial is exceptional; it showcases a beautifully detailed Swan with his Wings outstretched. So fine is the work you can actually see each feather as well as its webbed feet! The Swan rests on a circle outlined by a wreath of acanthus leaves.
The upper register is a double circle of gold plated solid silver decorated by a laurel leave wreath. The lower register of this part has twelve solid silver spoon holders stretching out along the crystal vase.
The handles consist in two Majestic Swans with outstretched wings rising out of an acanthus cornucopia. Here again the details on the swans are staggeringly beautiful! The heads, eyes and beaks are just amazing!
The lower part of the cornucopias meet large Palmetto that rise on the side of the Crystal vase and which in turn are attached to the start of the pedestal with a beautifully worked column with fine gadroons and a fine guilloché work.
A second circle of gold plated silver is attached to the two palmettos and is decorated with silver pearls; it enables the spoons to stay in place…
The Pedestal is just….Wondrous…
It consists of 4 Dolphins sculpted in the typical ‘Ronde-Bosse’ (sculpted in round) Style. The Tails fan out by the start of the pedestal around the gadroon lined part and the rest of the bodies are beautifully worked. The details of the heads by itself are incredible…
They rest on a round plinth circled by laurel leaves, the plinth itself set on a square base resting on 4 lion’s paws.
The Base is decorated with olive branches and the four Lions paws showcase rosettes and wings….
The bowl insert is white crystal cut in diamonds and baguettes, it is original and in impeccable state!
This is just a wonderful work of art!
It can also be put to use as a Beautiful Caviar Serving Bowl!! A gorgeous way to use it as a matter of fact!
The Particularity of these pieces, is that the Maitre Orfèvre who did the main object, did not create the spoons…The spoons were always ordered from a Maitre Orfèvre who specialized in them.
The twelve spoons share the same ‘Poinçon Au Vieillard’ Hallmark, and are also solid silver and gold plated.
The Width given above is taken at the Handles. The Diameter at the tip of the spoons is 9.3 inches.
The Hallmark is ‘Poinçon Au Vieillard’ -1st title -1819-1838- Paris
The Makers Mark for the Confiturier is that of Denis GARREAU. It shows a D and a G topped by a ‘Navette’ (or boat)
GARREAU was the successor of Ambroise MIGNEROT and specialized in larger decorational pieces (called in French Pièces De Forme), particularly “Drageoir’s” and Oil and Vinegar Cruet stands. His mark was created in 1817. His offices were located at 62 Rue du Temple in what is today the Marais area of Paris.
The Spoons though of the exact same style and size are by two Maitre Orfèvre Cuilleristes (Specializing in spoons):
Marie Louis TAILLEPIED for 6 of them, she was registered between 1821 and 18826 in Paris
Bazile CHENAILLER for the other six who registered in Paris between 1824 and 1829.