We’re sure these gorgeous antique French figural salts have a real story to tell. The basis of which is their high quality design and production. They form a tripod stand in 950 grade silver with, at each corner, the figure of a lady holding a plaque or tablet. She is dressed in 18th century clothing with hair of what would appear to be leaves supporting the rim of the gallery top which supports the liners. The liners are of high quality crystal, slightly tapered to a cut lower gallery and with a star cut base. No idea who the lady is but thoughts coming!
What is interesting about these salts is the markings. They were designed and made by Ambroise Mignerot, (27 Nov 1759 – 12 Sep 1820) a celebrated silversmith active in Paris 1800-1818. These dates are gleaned from reconstructed civil records so may be subject to inaccuracies. The salts have two sets of date marks, one – an “unofficial” mark for 1793/4 and a later Paris mark for 1809.
The first mark dates to what is known as the Year of Terror – a year in which you wouldn’t have wanted to have been an aristocrat in France, subsequently also probably a year in which silverware was not high on the public agenda. The later mark is a mark used under the New Republic. The best theory is that the salts were made prior to the start of this period (perhaps when Mignerot was an apprentice) and stored to be assayed later, under the rule of Napoleon, by Mignerot himself.
However; this is pure speculation. The marks are all there but the story could simply be that in the political confusion both newer “official” and older “unofficial” marks were used in order to not upset either side of the political divide. The lady could represent post-revolutionary France or maybe not.
Considering their age (Georgian) and potential revolutionary past, these salts are in remarkable condition. No damage, the glass is intact and the silver untainted. A real living piece of history in mint condition.
- 7 cm/ 2.7 inches tall (Silver Stand)
- 7.4 cm/2.9 inches diameter (Stand)
- 4 cm/1.6 inches tall (glass inserts)
- 6.5 cm/2.5 inches diameter (glass inserts)
Parcel B – £10.50
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