Antique French Restauration Sterling Vermeil 15pc Tea Service
Antiques : Silver : Flatware
As leisurely afternoon tea parties have all but disappeared in the hectic pace of today's lifestyle, these delightful 19th century French sterling silver tea services truly enchant me - a nostalgic reminder of when one had the time to enjoy a graceful, elegantly served, afternoon tea party.
Dating to the mid 1800's French Restauration era, this rare 15-piece tea service is comprised of : 12 Teaspoons, Spout Tea Strainer, Sugar Nips, and Tea Caddy Spoon. Each piece is original to the set. The vermeil (18K gold on silver) violin shaped handles are finely engraved with floral and scrolling foliate motifs, beautifully enhanced with silver guilloche panels. Both arms of the sugar tongs, and the tea strainer's octagonal rim, are decorated with the same delightful decor. The tea strainer features a graceful arching handle, and a scalloped repousse shell bowl.
Each piece is stamped with the French Minerve 800 mark and maker's mark for Parisian master Silversmith and Jeweler, Louis BENOIT, who commenced trading in 1828, rue Saint-Martin, Paris. Condition of the service is excellent, with only light signs of use.
The rosewood presentation box is inlaid with fine brass stringing and cartouche (monogram 'MF), and retains its original, beautifully preserved, satin and velvet fitted interior. There is a small piece of veneer loss on a back corner and towards the bottom on the right side of the box, as indicated in the photos. Hinges are firm, and there is a working lock - and key!