Kensington House Antiques and Sterling Silver Kensington House
All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Glass : French : Pre 1900 item #1234157
Kensington House Antiques
A classic Baccarat cut crystal perfume bottle in a blue-cut-to-clear cane pattern. While several American and European companies cut this pattern, the stopper of this bottle is a known Baccarat design. It appeared in a Baccarat pattern book under the name “Stella.” The stopper has a blown teardrop in the interior and is accented with a star pattern at the top. Baccarat products were marked only with a paper label until logo until around 1930.

Origin: France, ca. 1890. Condition: very good; a few very minor nicks along the bottom edge (obscured by the design). Size: 4-15/16” tall.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1234156
Kensington House Antiques
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
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 : Bronze : Pre 1920 item #1221005
Kensington House Antiques
A good bronze footed trumpet base by bronze artisan Carl Sorensen. The surface is patinated in a mottled bluish-green shade and is enhanced with bands of parallel engraved lines in a bright copper finish. Most of Sorensen’s vases did not have a foot, and the addition of the small foot—also enhanced with a bright copper edging—adds special appeal. Sorensen is known to have worked in Philadelphia in the first part of the 20th century, making bronze wares in the Arts & Crafts tradition. It is thought that his creations were retailed by both Roycroft and Tiffany. The base is signed “Carl Sorensen” and has his hallmark.

Origin: America, ca. 1910. Condition: excellent, original patina. Size: 6-3/4” tall; 6-1/2” diameter at rim.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Glass : French : Pre 1910 item #1214519
Kensington House Antiques
A lovely art glass cabinet vase with cameo decoration in the “Thistle” pattern by Daum. The glass has elegant mottled coloring with dark peach and amber. The rim and foot are enhanced with gilt edging. The bottom of the base is signed in gilt script and bears the cross of Lorraine. This example is finely carved and makes very nice use of the layers of color.

Origin: France, ca. 1900. Condition: excellent, no chips or cracks, very minor wear the gilding along the foot and rim. Size: 4-5/8” tall.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Glass : Bohemian : Pre 1900 item #1214516
Kensington House Antiques
A very unusual Bohemian zwischengoldglass liquor glass, the bottom featuring an inset gilt and enameled design of a ladybug. The panel cutting along the beaker’s sides causes the design to be visually repeated. Small beakers such as these are normally decorated with a flower. This is the only example we’ve seen with an insect. The ladybug traditionally symbolizes good luck, so perhaps that's why it appears here.

Origin: Bohemia, ca. 1860. Condition: excellent, gilding intact, no chips or cracks. Size: 2-1/4” tall.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1214512
Kensington House Antiques
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 : Glass : French : Pre 1837 VR item #1214496
Kensington House Antiques
A lovely antique crystal plaque by Baccarat encasing a sulphide or "cameo incrustation" of the "Madonna and Child". This particular sulphide is one of the two known depictions of Mary and Jesus used by Baccarat during the classic period of paperweight production. It is a large version and shows Mary supported by a swirling cloud of angels. The back of the plaque is cut in a waffle pattern and the edges are finished in with curved gadroons. A footed cross with the same sulphide subject and gadrooned cutting can be seen in the collection of the Corning Museum of Glass. The crystal is completely free of inclusions. The plaque retains its original bronze mounting and jump ring.

Origin: France, ca. 1825. Condition: excellent; no chips or cracks; original mountings except the bail has been replaced with a wire (not visible from the front or when hanging). Dimensions: 2-15/16" x 3-11/16" (excluding mountings).

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Bronze : Pre 1900 item #1210870
Kensington House Antiques
A macabre bronze figural cigar cutter in the form of a guillotine. The perfectly detailed guillotine includes a movable “bascule” and “lunette”. On the full-size models, these were the portions to which the victim was strapped and tilted into the machine and the part with a hole that surrounded the neck to hold the head still. In this case, a cigar is laid on the bascule and the lunette closes around the very tip of the cigar. When the rope is released, the heavy blade drops, lopping off the tip which falls into the bucket underneath. The bronze elements are entirely hand-fashioned and are mounted on a simple mahogany base. Incidentally, cigar cutters, regardless of their shapes, are often called “guillotines” in France.

Origin: France, ca. 1860. Condition: excellent, even the rope appears to be original. Size: 8” tall.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1920 item #1191500
Kensington House Antiques
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 : Glass : English : Pre 1910 item #1171051
Kensington House Antiques
A stunning cranberry-cut-clear cut glass claret jug with a hammered sterling silver collar and hinged lid with a palmate finial. The Aesthetic-style hammered silver makes are particularly nice counterpoint to the Gothic-inspired design of the cutting which combines tall arches of small diamond cutting divided at the top with elongated triangles of larger diamond cutting. The bottom of the jug is cut with a 36-point star. The applied handle is worked in clear crystal. The silver mounting is fully hallmarked by Martin Hall & Co., with a Birmingham city mark and the date letter for 1904.

Origin: England, 1904. Condition: excellent, no chips or cracks to glass; no dings or monograms to silver. Size: 10-3/4” tall.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Glass : American : Pre 1910 item #1171043
Kensington House Antiques
This unusual glass paperweight is filled with a devil’s fire motif worked in vibrant opaque shades of red, white and green. The glass of the design has a chalky texture similar to sulphides, but is randomly swirled and peaked in the typical devil’s fire style. The glass of the dome is particularly clear and bright for South Jersey paperweight. There is an incised ring around the periphery, just above the base, that is often found in Jersey weights. The base is concave and has a nice basal ring. The overall visual is very successful.

Origin: America, ca. 1880-1910. Condition: very good; there are three moons on the periphery, not visible from the top, and one shalllow fleabite that is visible from the top. Size: 2-5/8” diameter; 1-3/4” high.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Glass : American : Pressed Glass : Pre 1900 item #1171036
Kensington House Antiques
A fine mid-19th century pressed glass paperweight in the form of a recumbent lion resting on an opaque glass base. The lion is beautifully detailed and finished in a frosted surface. This lion is similar to one produced by Gillinder for the 1876 Centennial Exposition, but it is much more finely made. The underside of the black base is impressed “490”.

Origin: probably America, ca. 1870. Condition: excellent; there are a few very minor fleabites along the bottom edge of the base and a couple of small ones (probably from rings) on the lion’s head, where a user would likely pick up the paperweight (these are very difficult to see due to the complexity of the design). Size: 5-3/4” x 3-3/8” x 3-3/4”.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1900 item #1170676
Kensington House Antiques
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 : Glass : American : Cut Glass : Pre 1920 item #1169555
Kensington House Antiques
A stunning footed cut glass compote in Hawkes’ “Delft Diamond” pattern. While the pattern is not especially ornate, the deep emerald green color of the blank is amazing. The knopped stem has an elongated airtrap bubble that’s difficult to see because the color of the glass is so rich. The plain round foot is acid-stamped with Hawkes’ trefoil signature, which would suggest a relatively early date.

Origin: America, ca. 1920. Condition: excellent, no chips or cracks, normal frosting to bottom of base. Size: 8-1/8” diameter; 6-3/4” high.

All Items : Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Continental : Pre 1800 item #1168388
Kensington House Antiques
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
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
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.