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Author Topic:   French tea strainer

Posts: 2245
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-28-2021 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Shown here is French tea strainer from around 1900 to 1910 that has the mark for Eugene Lelievre.
This is from a post on Pinterest:

“Eugene Alfred Lelievre (Lefebvre) was a French artist and silversmith, who had a workshop at 14 bis rue des Minimes in Paris. His father-watchmaker Francois Lefebvre-set it in 1874, Eugene took over the firm in 1896 and became notable for his sculptures, jewelry, accessories and tableware. Eugene was a valued member of the legendary Paris Salon, his masterpieces may be found at world's major auction houses and important art galleries”

The Minerva guarantee mark is well rubbed so I do not know the purity.

The band around the rim is crisp and depicts thistles. The thistle is the national symbol for Scotland and it is a nice surprise to see it on French silver.

Mr. Lelievre’s mark has a swan with an arrow through it. Does anyone know the symbolism of this depiction?

Also a question for our silversmiths. Is the band on this strainer made in the same way as milled bands that were used on US silver in the first half of the 19th century? Or is it even an applied band as it seems so thin?

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 05-28-2021).]

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Registered: Jun 2020

iconnumber posted 05-28-2021 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silverpath     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The purity mark looks like 950 based on the shape with the squared off corners seen at the upper part of the last photo.

The swan pierced by an arrow may have a heraldic connotation. A google search shows a swan pierced by an arrow on a coat of arms from the Walsh family with the meaning suggested from translation of the family motto as "transfixed (pierced) but not dead," representing perhaps ferocity in battle, or some sort of affliction." Doubt Mr. Lelievre had those family ties but rather liked the imagery.

Does the tea strainer work? I see you have it set up in one photo on a teapot. When I've tried similar tea strainers the tea leaves passed through readily.

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 05-28-2021).]

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iconnumber posted 05-28-2021 11:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Silverpath, thanks for that interesting information.

I have not tried the strainer yet, but I think I can come up with some loose tea and see what happens. We drink tea, but I must admit it has been some time since we used loose tea leaves. I think all tea pots used before tea bags were invented had strainers built into the spout and that may have helped limit what came through.

[This message has been edited by Scott Martin (edited 05-28-2021).]

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