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Rare French Silver “Dieu Protege La France” Tastevin

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Decorative Art: Metals: Silver: Continental: Pre 1940: Item # 1170680
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A classic mid-20th century French silver tastevin of traditional form. The bowl is decorated with angled godrons for evaluating white wines and small convex perles and larger concave cupules for use with red wines. The handle, also, is in the traditional snake form. Up until the mid-20th century, a few silversmiths in France were able to raise an entire tastevin from a single Napoleon III 5-franc coin. The work was accomplished solely with the aid of variously-sized hammers which were used to thin and spread out the original coin and a series of other tools used to form the decorations. They can often be identified by the the exact weight (always 32.5 grams before the addition of the handle). Only a handful of master silversmiths were able to create a tastevin in which the phrase “DIEU PROTEGE LA FRANCE” (“God protect France”), which originally appeared on the rim of the 5-franc coin, was still legible at the rim of the tastevin. The last silversmith with this documented ability stopped working in 1968. The tastevin is stamped with the “Minerve” mark for 800 silver and with an illegible maker’s mark.

Origin: France, ca. 1930. Condition: excellent. Size: 25/32” high; 2-3/4” diameter (excluding handle). Weight: 32.9 grams.