Kensington House Antiques and Sterling Silver Kensington House
Antiques
All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1258288
Kensington House Antiques
$800.00
A delightful early 19th century French silver tastevin featuring a 1770 Louis XV coin and a wonderfully decorated handle. The handle decoration depicts a man seated atop a wine barrel grasping a wine bottle in one hand and a Cupid's arrow in the other. The design is completed with the legend "Vive l'amour et le vin" ("Long live love and wine."). This type of handle was developed in the early 1700s and was used mostly in the Burgundy region. The use of real silver coins as a decorative element is seen in tastevins dating from the mid-1700s onwards. The handle is stamped with 19th century hallmarks.

Origin: France, ca. 1840. Condition: excellent; 2 pinpoints to the bowl and a slight ding along the edge opposite the handle. Dimensions: 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 x 7/8 inches. Weight: 95.0 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1236329
Kensington House Antiques
$800.00
A very attractive French silver (1st standard=950/1000 pure silver) tastevin, the bottom inset with a 1785 silver coin showing the bust of King Louis XVI. This tastevin departs slightly from the traditional form, with the fluted “godrons” placed immediately around the coin and the sides finished with very nice repousse decoration of grapes, vines and leaves. The tastevin is finished with a single coiled snake handle. Tastevins set with royal coins seem to have been popular during various times in the 19th century when France was ruled over by a king or emperor. Tastevins with Louis XVI coins are not often encountered, however. The tastevin is stamped with French silver marks and with an unidentified master silversmith mark.

Origin: France, ca. 1860. Condition: excellent. Dimensions: 7.9 x 10.5 cm (3-1/8 x 4-1/8 in). Weight: 105.4 gr.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1236326
Kensington House Antiques
$650.00
A very attractive late 19th century first standard (950/1000 pure silver) wine taster by Parisian silversmith Louis Coignet. The tastevin is decorated in the Bourgogne style with an applied handle in snake form. The serpent is beautifully decorated with engraved scales and eyes. The sides are enhanced with repousse and chased decoration of grape clusters and vine leaves. This example is classic form, but has a very steep convex bottom and no “godrons” or “perles” along the sides. These adjustments to the style suggest the tastevin was specifically intended for use with white wines.

Origin: France, 1889-1893. Condition: excellent, sharp detail. Dimensions: 3 x 4-1/16 in. Weight: 70.5 gr.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling : Pre 1900 item #1236325
Kensington House Antiques
$450.00
An uncommon silver tastevin, the bottom inset with a Mexican silver coin featuring the likeness of King Ferdinand VII of Spain, the last Spanish emperor to rule over Mexico. The coin is dated 1821, the year Mexico became independent of Spain. The tastevin is constructed in classic French style, with a coiled snake handle, but it lacks the embellishments usually seen on French examples. The bowl is simply decorated with a hammered surface. The tastevin probably dates to the reign of the Emperor Maximilian, who ruled Mexico’s Second Empire (1864-67). Maximilian was established as emperor by the French Emperor Napoleon III, and French decorative arts became very popular among the wealthy of Mexican society.

Origin: Mexico, ca. 1864. Condition: excellent. Dimensions: 9 x 11.5 cm (3-9/16 x 4-9/16 in). Weight: 112.0 gr.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1234925
Kensington House Antiques
$275.00
A classic 19th century French silver tastevin of traditional form by master silversmith Alexandre Vauger. This example is of small size, intended for use in evaluating cognac, Armagnac or calvados instead of wine. Unlike the “perles” and “godrons” found on the walls of a wine taster, a cognac taster more accurately reflects the liquid’s color using a smooth surface. Similarly, cognac tasters are smaller than wine tasters because the alcohol is considerably stronger and a smaller taste is more appropriate. The bottom of the interior features a partial image of Hercules flanked by female figures representing “Liberty” and “Equality” that once appeared on the 5-franc coin of the Third Republic. The back of the coin, dated 1873, is visible on the bottom of the tastevin. The taster is finished with a classic engraved double serpent handle, the heads grasping the apple of temptation.

Accomplished French silversmiths prided themselves on the ability to raise an entire tastevin from a single 5-franc coin, using only hammers and a few other hand tools to thin, spread and shape the flat coin into a finished tastevin. Only a handful of masters were capable of raising the tastevin with the words “DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE” (“God protect France”), originally found around the outer edge of the coin, still visible along the top edge of the tastevin. The last silversmith proven to have mastered this skill stopped working in 1968.

This tastevin is stamped with French silver hallmarks and has the master silversmith’s mark for Alexandre Vauger, who worked in Paris 1884-1887.

Origin: France, 1884-87. Condition: excellent. Dimensions: 48 x 66 mm (1-7/8 x 2-5/8 in). Weight: 30.9 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1234924
Kensington House Antiques
$275.00
A classic 19th century French silver tastevin of traditional form by master silversmith Alexandre Vauger. This example is of small size, intended for use in evaluating cognac, Armagnac or calvados instead of wine. Unlike the “perles” and “godrons” found on the walls of a wine taster, a cognac taster more accurately reflects the liquid’s color using a smooth surface. Similarly, cognac tasters are smaller than wine tasters because the alcohol is considerably stronger and a smaller taste is more appropriate. The bottom of the interior features a partial image of Hercules flanked by female figures representing “Liberty” and “Equality” that once appeared on the 5-franc coin of the Third Republic. The back of the coin, dated 1873, is visible on the bottom of the tastevin. The taster is finished with a classic engraved double serpent handle, the heads grasping the apple of temptation.

Accomplished French silversmiths prided themselves on the ability to raise an entire tastevin from a single 5-franc coin, using only hammers and a few other hand tools to thin, spread and shape the flat coin into a finished tastevin. Only a handful of masters were capable of raising the tastevin with the words “DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE” (“God protect France”), originally found around the outer edge of the coin, still visible along the top edge of the tastevin. The last silversmith proven to have mastered this skill stopped working in 1968.

This tastevin is stamped with French silver hallmarks and has the master silversmith’s mark for Alexandre Vauger, who worked in Paris 1884-1887.

Origin: France, 1884-87. Condition: excellent. Dimensions: 48 x 66 mm (1-7/8 x 2-5/8 in). Weight: 30.5 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1234156
Kensington House Antiques
$275.00
A classic 19th century French silver tastevin of traditional form by master silversmith Alexandre Vauger. This example is of small size, intended for use in evaluating cognac, Armagnac or calvados instead of wine. Unlike the “perles” and “godrons” found on the walls of a wine taster, a cognac taster more accurately reflects the liquid’s color using a smooth surface. Similarly, cognac tasters are smaller than wine tasters because the alcohol is considerably stronger and a smaller taste is more appropriate. The bottom of the interior features a partial image of Hercules flanked by female figures representing “Liberty” and “Equality” that once appeared on the 5-franc coin of the Third Republic. The back of the coin, dated 1876, is visible on the bottom of the tastevin. The taster is finished with a classic engraved double serpent handle, the heads grasping the apple of temptation.

Accomplished French silversmiths prided themselves on the ability to raise an entire tastevin from a single 5-franc coin, using only hammers and a few other hand tools to thin, spread and shape the flat coin into a finished tastevin. Only a handful of masters were capable of raising the tastevin with the words “DIEU PROTÉGÉ LA FRANCE” (“God protect France”), originally found around the outer edge of the coin, still visible along the top edge of the tastevin. The last silversmith proven to have mastered this skill stopped working in 1968.

This tastevin is stamped with French silver hallmarks and has the master silversmith’s mark for Alexandre Vauger, who worked in Paris 1884-1887.

Origin: France, 1884-87. Condition: excellent. Dimensions: 48 x 66 mm (1-7/8 x 2-5/8 in). Weight: 30.9 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling : Pre 1910 item #1221012
Kensington House Antiques
$550.00
A delightful sterling silver photograph frame intended to celebrate the arrival of a newborn. Designed by Lebkeucher & Co. (1896-1909), the frame is ornately decorated with storks, song birds and climbing roses. The top border has a reserve for engraving the baby’s name. The bottom border has a reserve for adding the birth date, a clock on which the time of birth can be engraved, and a scale on which the weight may be added. The frame retains its original black composition easel back. Frames of this type were created by other makers well into the 20th century, but very early examples of this quality and with absolutely no prior engraving are exceedingly uncommon. Lebkeucher was especially noted for its ornately engraved wares. The frame has the company’s hallmark and is stamped “Sterling 3187”.

Origin: America, 1896-1909. Condition: excellent, no dings, no monograms. Size: 4-3/8” x 5-3/4”; sight size, 2-7/8 x 4-3/16”. Silver Weight: 61.1 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1214512
Kensington House Antiques
$895.00
A very fine 12-piece set of gilt silver and mother of pearl dessert, fruit or cheese knives presented in their original fitted box. The tapered mother of pearl handles are tipped with silver finials and ferules decorated in a Louis XVI-style ribbon and reed motif. Most similar sets have plated blades, but these are silver. The silver is gilt, a process that is decorative, but also serves to prevent corrosion from the salts in cheeses which were often served in France as a dessert course. The gilding has faded to a very nice, light lemony color. The interior lid of the velvet- and silk-lined box is marked by the maker, “J. Fayard/Fabricant Orfèvre Joaillier/St Etienne”.

Origin: France, ca. 1860. Condition: knives are excellent, no dings, no cracks, normal fading of the gilding; the box shows considerable wear and has a slightly warped lid. Size: 7-1/2” long.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1920 item #1191500
Kensington House Antiques
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A very pretty early 20th century French silver tastevin in the style typical of Dijon in the Burgundy region of France. This style retains the usual convex base surrounded by a wreath of “perles”, but the gadrooning (“godrons”) along the side have been replaced with a decoration of very finely worked grape leaves and clusters of fruit. The handle, also in typical Burgundian style, represents two snakes with the heads of ducks grasping the forbidden apple between their beaks. Although the maker’s mark on the bottom is illegible, the quality of workmanship suggests that this tastevin may be have been made by Orfevres Parrod, one of the most important silversmiths in the region and a house particularly noted for its tastevins.

Origin: France, ca. 1910. Condition: excellent, sharp detail, no dings. Size: 2-5/16” diameter (excluding handle) x 13/16”. Weight: 33.4 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1170676
Kensington House Antiques
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A fine first-standard (950/1000 pure) silver tastevin, the bottom inset with a silver 5-franc coin from the reign of Louis Philippe. The coin has good detail, the front showing a bust of the king in profile, while the bottom shows a laurel wreath enclosing the words “5 Francs/1846”. The coin is surrounded by repousse decoration of angled godrons, small convex perles and larger concave cupules. The varying shapes were meant to reflect light through the wine to more accurately judge its color and clarity. The circular cupules and perles were used for red wines and the elongated godrons for white. The handle is in the form of two entwined snakes grasping an apple between their open jaws. The style of handle and the relatively steep sides of the bowl is typical of Burgundian tastevins. The tastevin is marked with the 1st standard “Minerve” hallmark and an illegible maker’s mark.

Origin: France, ca. 1850. Condition: excellent, sharp detail. Size: 3-1/4” diameter (excluding handle); 1” high. Weight: 83.7 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1800 item #1168388
Kensington House Antiques
$4500.00
An extraordinarily fine museum-quality French silver tastevin from the reign of Louis XV. The vessel’s sides are decorated with ornate applied and engraved strapwork alternating with fleurs-de-lys, the symbol of France’s ruling Bourbon dynasty. Rather than the traditional convex base, this tastevin is centered with a rare silver jeton issued by Louis XV to celebrate the birth of his first grandson, Louis-Joseph-Xavier, in 1751. Ornate line engraving and evenly-spaced repousse dimples surround the medal. The whole is raised on a ropetwist foot. The handle, in the form of a pair of intertwined dolphins, the symbol of the “dauphin” or heir to the French throne, is without parallel in any tastevin we’ve seen. The dolphin motif is a reference to the subject matter of the medallion inset into the bottom of the tastevin. The outer edge is engraved “De Melinville 1757”.

As noted previously, the medal inset into the bottom of the tastevin celebrates the birth of Louis XV’s first grandson. He would have inherited the throne ahead of his younger brother, Louis XVI, had he not died at the age of nine after a fall from his hobby horse. The jeton’s obverse, displayed on the interior of the tastevin, depicts Louis XV crowned with a laurel wreath and surrounded by the identifying words “LUD. XV REX CHRISTIANISS” (“The most Christian Louis XV”). The medal is is signed “B. DUVIVIER F.” for Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier (1730-1819) who later served as Medal Engraver to the King beginning in 1764 and then as France’s 13th “graveur général des monnaies” from 1774 until after the fall of the monarchy in 1791. The medal’s reverse depicts the goddess of childbirth, Lucina, introducing the infant (titled duc de Bourgogne)to the French nation personified as a kneeling maiden. The upper edge reads “PROLE ET PARTU FELIX” (“Announcing the happy birth” and a lower panel explains the reason for the issuance of the jeton, “DUX BURGUNDIAE DELPHINI FIL. LUD. XV NEPOS. NATUS XIII SEPTEMBRIS MDCCLI” (“Duke of Burgundy, son of the Dauphin, son of Louis XV, was born 13 September 1751”).

Silver dating to the pre-revolutionary “ancien regime” is extremely rare. France’s finances were weak and even the king himself was forced to melt nearly all his silver tableware to pay his debts. Michel Delapierre is among the most reknowned silversmiths of the era, noted for his well-balanced designs and expert craftsmanship. Though he registered his own maker’s mark after completing his apprenticeship in 1737, he preferred to use his father’s mark, even though he had died in 1734. This tastevin bears that mark, a crowned fleur-de-lys, two grains (dots), the initials MDLP and a stone (a clever play on on words since “Pierre” means “stone”).

Delapierre’s work is exceedingly rare, and is represented in major institutional collections by two pairs of candlesticks in the Wentworth Collection at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a single covered dish at Le Musee du Louvre, and a candlestick and a vinegar bottle in France’s Musee des Arts Decoratifs.

Generally, fine tastevins were engraved at one edge with their original owner’s name. In this case, the tastevin is engraved with the shortened name of the owner “De Melinville”. His full name and title was Armand Francois de la Pierre, Ecuyer, Marquis de Melinville, Seigneur de Talhouet et autres lieux, chevalier de l’ordre militaire de Saint-Louis. It is unlikely but not impossible that the same family name of the silversmith and the Marquis de Melinville is more than a coincidence. The Marquis de Melinville served as a “lieutenant des marechaux de France” and in that role was charged with resolving disputes between men of noble birth for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary duels. In that role, he was assigned to the town of Hennebon, in his native Brittany.

The tastevin bears the master’s mark for Michel Delapierre; the charge mark for Paris (1756-1762); the Paris discharge mark; and the commune mark (“jurande”) for 1757-58.

Origin: France, 1757. Condition: excellent, sharp detail , normal wear the foot, but virtually no wear elsewhere. Size: bowl, 3-1/2” diameter, 1-1/4” high; overall, 3-1/2” x 4-5/8”. Weight: 207.2 grams. Provenance: Robert Lloyd; A Private Collection; S J. Shrubsole.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1168287
Kensington House Antiques
$825.00
A fine early 19th century silver tastevin in the 17th century Burgundian style, inset with a Louis XIV silver ecu coin. The coin is surrounded by a “couronne” of 27 perles from which extend elongated “godrons”. These elongated grooves, without any corresponding circular grooves typically meant the tastevin was intended for use only with white wines. The godrons are further enhanced with small bunches of grapes. The handle, in a stylized design of two entwined snakes, with the heads and beaks of ducks, is also typical of 17th century tastevins. The rim is engraved with the name of the original owner, Vincent Nuits. The tastevin was created by the Orfevre Parrod, an important Dijon silver maker founded in 1816, and is hallmarked appropriately.

After the final defeat of Napoleon, the Bourbon monarchy was restored to France, and reminders of the previous reigns appeared everywhere in French decorative arts. This coin, dating to 1652, depicts the boy king Louis XIV surrounded by the Latin inscription translated as “Louis XIV, by grace of God, king of France and Navarre”. The reverse is decorated with the royal crown over a shield of fleurs-de-lys. Though a 17th century tastevin would never have been made with a coin in the bottom, the combination of these two elements was a masterful stroke by Parrod and makes this tastevin a particularly desirable example.

Origin: Dijon, France, ca. 1840. Condition: ecellent, sharp detail. Size: 2-13/16” diameter (excluding handle); 3/4” tall. Weight: 72.7 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling : Pre 1837 VR item #1165987
Kensington House Antiques
$1295.00
A classic George III sterling silver wine coaster, the bombe sides with egg and dart decoration and the rim with gadrooning. The decoration is finely crafted. The turned wood base is centered with a silver escutcheon bearing an unidentified coat of arms (dancetty with three swords points down) impaling that of Ashby (ermine chevron and three leopard’s heads) tied with a ribbon. The coaster is clearly stamped with hallmarks for London and the second George III duty mark (1786-1821). The maker’s mark is rubbed, but consists of two pairs of initials, the lower pair being “CB”. The year mark is also illegible. Stylistically, the coaster most likely dates to slightly before or during the early part of the Regency Period (1811-1921). The bottom retains its original green baize fabric.

Origin: England, ca. 1810. Condition: excellent, no dings or cracking. Size: 6-1/4” diameter; 1-3/4” high.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1094774
Kensington House Antiques
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A fine mid-19th century French silver tastevin (wine taster), the base inset with an 1810 Italian silver coin from the reign of Emperor Napoleon I as King of Italy. The bottom edge of the bowl is decorated with curved, scalloped "godrons" which were intended to reflect light through white wine to judge clarity. This tastevin does not have the "cupules" ("ovoides") specifically intended to deepen the color of red wines. The sides are decorated with grapevines and clusters of fruit. The handle is formed as a coiled serpent--as style particularly popular in Burgundy. The whole is raised on a circular ropetwist foot. Napoleonic coins are rarely seen in tastevins, and this piece probably dates to the Second Empire when Napoleonic items were viewed with some nostalgia. Fully hallmarked.

Origin: France, ca. 1850. Condition: excellent, sharp detail. Size: 3" diameter excluding handle. Weight: 72.3 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling : Pre 1910 item #1093559
Kensington House Antiques
$495.00
A lovely set of six sterling silver and plique-a-jour enamel cocktail picks by acclaimed Norwegian silversmith and enamelist Johan G. Kjaerland. Kjaerland worked in Bergen, Norway, and was particuarly well-known for his excellent plique-a-jour enamels. This is the first set of cocktail picks we've seen in plique-a-jour. Each is hallmarked appropriately.

Origin: Norway, ca. 1900. Condition: excellent, no enamel damage, gilding intact. Size: 3-11/16" long. Weight: 16.7 grams.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling : Pre 1910 item #1079624
Kensington House Antiques
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A lovely set of six sterling silver demitasse spoons in the "Floral" pattern by Tiffany & Co. This lovely Victorian spoons feature a different old-fashioned flower on each handle. The tip of each handle is the flower blossom, while the neck is fashioned as the plant stem and foliage. The flowers represented are marigold, clover, daisy, iris, violet, and wild rose. The unusual elongated bowls are similar to those on egg spoons, and retain their original matte gilding. The backs are marked "Tiffany & Co. Stg."

Origin: America, ca. 1900. Condition: excellent, sharp detail. Size: 4-1/16" long. Weight: 52.4 gr.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1038437
Kensington House Antiques
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An outstanding Restoration period French silver wine taster in the 18th century style typical of Lyon. With the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, many old styles from the ancien regime once again came into fashion, and this tastevin, building on decorative elements typical of the 1770's, is a perfect example. Tastevins with snake-form handles were particularly popular. Those with a pair of snake heads that somewhat resemble bird's heads flanking a sphere are typical of silver from Lyon. The punchwork decoration of grape clusters surrounded the bowl is also a typical 18th century design. The tastevin is completely handmade and was raised on a lathe in the traditional method, as is evidenced by the pinprick in the middle of the bowl and the remnants of hammer marks. The outer rim is engraved "F. Porcheret-Billard". Stamped with 2nd standard "tete de Minverve" hallmarks.

Origin: France, ca. 1840. Condition: excellent, sharp detail. Size: 3-1/2" diameter, excluding handle. Weight: 113.4 grams.