A genuine late 17th to mid 18th century hand made openwork European grade sterling pierced strainer or ladle with a gilded bowl. This unusual 8" ladle has a gilt and pierced 2-3/8" x 2" bowl with a pouring lip, and would be a slightly higher than 800 grade silver. The openwork handle has wonderfully ornate hand made wire-work with two central medallions, which have never been engraved/monogrammed. The handle is completely hand made and it is applied to the bowl with a rat-tail. It has two hallmarks on the back of the handle, the clearest of the two is a round punch with an animal figure that appears to be a standing bear with an I to the right (the stamp was slightly larger than the handle, so the animal head is missing). This appears to be a mark used in Berlin (Germany) in the 17th and 18th century. The other mark is a simple S or snake mark, and we have not traced this mark/maker. The style, workmanship, patina and appearance of the piece is consistent with German and Austrian silver being manufactured in this period, so the mark is consistent with the visible age of the piece (late 17th to mid 18th century). We haven't run across this exact utensil before, so are unsure which particular food or drink it was used to strain - it could be a variant of a fruit punch or mead or wine strainer or skimmer. It is in really exceptionally fine condition with no monograms, repairs or damage. The end of the filigree work nearest the bowl is not soldered, but this may be an aspect of design rather than a break in the silver that may have occurred. Expedited tracked and insured parcel shipping to the U.S. starts at $25 (other spots may vary, air is higher) - tracking and insurance is included in shipping quotes. Items paid with a credit card will be shipped to confirmed addresses only. We do ship internationally. All of our prices are in $US. PLEASE NOTE: We DO NOT accept PayPal, only VISA and MASTERCARD.