SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

The Silver Salon Forums
Since 1993
Over 11,793 threads & 64,769 posts !!
Continental / International Silver Forum
How to Post Photos REGISTER (click here)

customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  Continental / International Silver
tline3open  French Silver needs ID

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   French Silver needs ID
lagerlout1

Posts: 8
Registered: Feb 2003

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lagerlout1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[01-0980]

Hello,

This is my first post to this board, so hopefully all three pics will load properly.

This vase I have acquired if about 7.5" tall and weighs about 10 oz. I believe it is FRENCH but cannot date it. The three marks are of a horses head, a ram and a winged horse. After searching through an old French Silver marks book, I have identified the horses head as a discharge mark from Limoges and the ram as a town mark of Bourges. The winged animal is a mystery. I realize French dating and marks are highly undocumented, but thought someone on this board may be able to shed some light.

If I correctly identified the first two marks, the piece dates to the late 1700's! Is this possible??


IP: Logged

Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to the forums,

I'm not sure about the marks, but the piece itself is very much in the Empire style favored by Napoleon Bonaparte. As such, it likely does date from 1795-1805. Great piece!

Brent

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The winged animal looks like a griffin rampant. What does everyone else think?

IP: Logged

vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
somewhere on this piece I would expect to find a small makers mark in a diamond cartouche.

IP: Logged

lagerlout1

Posts: 8
Registered: Feb 2003

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lagerlout1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by vathek:
somewhere on this piece I would expect to find a small makers mark in a diamond cartouche.

Thanks, I'll inspect the vase more closely when I get home!

IP: Logged

lagerlout1

Posts: 8
Registered: Feb 2003

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lagerlout1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Martin:
The winged animal looks like a griffin rampant. What does everyone else think?



Thanks!
I am 99% sure that the mystery mark on my vase is the one you so kindly posted. Do you know what it signifies? A date? A City? A country of origin?

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found this on page 76 of:
OLD FRENCH PLATE Its Makers and Marks
by Wilfred Joseph Cripps
1920, 3rd edition
Chapter 3 - Table IV
Provincial Town Marks, 1783-89
Town = La Rochelle
Jurisdiction = La Rochelle

IP: Logged

akgdc

Posts: 289
Registered: Sep 2001

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for akgdc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to rain on the parade, but speaking as a collector of French silver, I don't believe for a second that this is an 18th-century French piece. The form and decoration are unlike anything of the period. It looks like somebody's thirdhand interpretation of what the Empire style was. Moreover, the surfaces look not at all like antique silver, but like modern silverplate (and pretty lowgrade silverplate at that). The mushy marks in their bloblike cartouches are unlike genuine 18th-c. French marks. They are clearly not genuine hallmarks but rather pseudo marks.

To anyone who's looked at much 18th-c. French silver, this piece is as glaring a fake as, say, an electroplated napkin ring marked Myer Myers. The old caveat bears repeating: look at the piece itself first, and the marks second.

IP: Logged

Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 02-17-2003 11:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello akgdc,

I was hoping you would see this post, and I now feel like a damn fool. I WAS becoming suspicious with the three marks from three different towns and no maker's mark, but now that you mention it the whole piece does just look wrong, as do the marks. I was looking at the elements, and not noticing how badly they were combined. Sorry, Peter, to get your hopes up. I'm afraid akgdc is right, we are looking at a fake.

Brent

IP: Logged

lagerlout1

Posts: 8
Registered: Feb 2003

iconnumber posted 02-18-2003 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lagerlout1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you all for enlightening me! This has been a very educational experience for me seeing as I do not know alot about French silver. Ironically, I just received an email from Christie's saying they would accept the vase for a future decorative arts auction and upon first inspection valued the item at $1600. It seems they were not paying attention to the details of the piece as well. I guess I will skip that to save time and embarrassment. I still think the piece is wondeful to look at and will keep it displayed in my home. As for it being silverplated I am not quite sure. There is a small nick in the base that looks silver through and through and no tell tale signs of "weird" tarnishing or discolored worn plating. Any other comments are welcome. Thanks.

IP: Logged

akgdc

Posts: 289
Registered: Sep 2001

iconnumber posted 02-18-2003 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for akgdc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Brent, don't be too hard on yourself! I think the problem is with the hallmark references (like Tardy, Wyler, and others) that illustrate hundreds of different French marks without illustrating any of the pieces on which they are found, or even explaining which marks go with which other marks. (Under the strict French hallmark system, like the British, the marks on a piece have to be read in relation to one another.)

The hallmark books show so many different symbols from 18th-c. France -- bells, birds, gryphons, horses, flowers -- that it's easy for a novice to find one that seems to match the mark on the piece he's looking at. On eBay, for example, the majority of pieces described as 18th-c. French seem to be cases of this type of mistaken identity.

Adam

IP: Logged

labarbedor

Posts: 353
Registered: Jun 2002

iconnumber posted 02-19-2003 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for labarbedor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Adam this piece has as much chance of being 18th century French as I do, and while I'm French I was born well into the last century. I agree with his suggestion about looking at the piece first, mark second. I don't agree about it being plated, keep in mind the last time I said that I was wrong and he was right. I think it is German 19th century and worth testing, but just barely.

[This message has been edited by labarbedor (edited 02-19-2003).]

IP: Logged

vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 02-19-2003 08:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I personally think it would be interesting to send this piece to Christies and see what they say.

IP: Logged

akgdc

Posts: 289
Registered: Sep 2001

iconnumber posted 02-19-2003 08:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for akgdc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
it sure would be!

IP: Logged

lagerlout1

Posts: 8
Registered: Feb 2003

iconnumber posted 02-19-2003 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lagerlout1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by akgdc:
it sure would be!

Well.. I just resent the item pics (via email) to get another auction estimate request from Christie's. This time I have included a bit more info about the item, mostly reiterating points that Brent and akgdc brought up about its authenticity. Let's see how keen those Christie's people are. Should be fun! If you are interested, I can post what they say about it.

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 02-19-2003 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can't wait cool

See: French Silver is really German Silver

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2020 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices