Spoon maker with “rabbit” figural mark. Another Chenailler?

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
Essexboy Fisher
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Spoon maker with “rabbit” figural mark. Another Chenailler?

Postby Essexboy Fisher » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:45 pm

Hello, I’ve had to come back to France as I am having a bit of trouble with rabbits and chickens. I recently bought a Harlequin “set” of French, probable grapefruit spoons. (second opinion if possible). Below is a composite photo of one of them and some larger images of the marks. The spoon is 13.5 centimetres long.
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The “lapin” or rabbit is a fairly common image used by French silversmiths but referencing B and C and a rabbit in the French silversmith section of “silvercollection.it” I quickly found “Basile Chenailler”, a Paris silversmith. A slightly different image of his mark was shown and a date of “insculpation” in 1807 is given for him. A look at my spoon’s marks can also give some dates. It carries the Paris 950 silver standard mark (Michelangelo’s head) plus the “Gorgon face” guarantee (tax rate) mark for medium objects and these were used 1819-1838. There may possibly be an extra mark but I will refer to that later.
When I re-referenced our web site forum for ”Chenailler” and found others but mainly references to a later working “Henri Chenailler” and also at Paris. His mark can be found in “our” French silversmiths reference section. More interest came from my inter net search for “Basile Chenailler”. It produced the photo below of marks on a spoon labelled as made by that silversmith.

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The marks include an early Paris “Cockerel” (right facing&running), and if I have got it correct, the silver standard mark (used 1809 to 1819) but the ”BC” maker’s marks appear to have chickens or other bird images and not the rabbits I thought they should carry. This “BC” mark is the mark shown on “silvercollection.it”. Do both types of marks belong to the same silversmith? Is there a father and son connection? Are the BC’s in fact different silversmiths? Can the Forum give any enlightenment to me with the “Chenaillers”, and maybe more information on the spoon’s extra mark below? The first image shown is the mark on my BC spoon and the second image is from another of my grapefruit spoons.

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Are these “Bigorne” marks? These possible “Bigorne” marks are located exactly at the position of the “Gorgon” mark but on the opposite side of the stems of the spoons. I understand Bigorne marks were possibly an anti tax evasion mark and started in 1818.
If people want to know about Bigorne marking here is a reference.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=49680&hilit=bigorne

Fishless
Ps I may be back as I have not found the maker for the other spoons yet.

blakstone
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Re: Spoon maker with “rabbit” figural mark. Another Chenailler?

Postby blakstone » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:59 pm

Yes, both marks are that of the silver spoonmaker Bazile Chenaillier. His first mark - BC with a hummingbird above and a thrush below – was entered on 17 Feb 1807, and the second – BC with a rabbit – was entered on 31 Aug 1824. Arminjon notes that the second mark might have been his small mark, which may account for why there is no cancellation given for the first mark.

Bazile (sometimes Basile) Chenaillier was born on 13 Jun 1799 in Jouy, Yonne, the son Paul Alexis Chenaillier (ca. 1752-1814) and Jeanne Marguerite Eléonore Lorillon (b. 1753). His uncle was the silversmith Pierre Benoît Lorillon (1757-1816), and he married Anne Sophie Dehanne (ca 1786-1835), the daughter of silversmith Pierre Joseph Dehanne (ca. 1751-aft. 1808). He died on 12 Mar 1829 and his second mark (and possibly his first) was cancelled a few weeks later on 2 Apr 1829.

Four days later, Laurent Labbé entered his mark – L.L. with a rabbit – as a silver spoonmaker at the same premises, 61 rue Quincampoix, so clearly he was Chenaillier’s successor. Indeed, on 2 Jun 1831, he married Chenaillier’s widow Anne Sophie Dehanne. (The marriage record gives her profession as proprietress, so evidently she had some active interest in the firm.)

She died on 14 Oct 1835. Frustratingly, I can find no biographical information on Labbé. (Most Parisian records were destroyed during the Commune in 1870). But he probably died in or before 1852, when the business (then at 79 rue Quincampoix) was assumed by Étienne-Henri Sanoner (1824-1868). Sanoner also used the running rabbit in his mark, as did a string of successors into the 20th century: Ernest Compère (from 1868 to 1888), the widow Compère (from 1888 to 1919) and Émile Jean Baptiste Savary (from 1919).

As regards silversmiths Henri Louis Chenaillier (1811-1859) and his son Henri Nicolas Chenaillier (1841-1903), I can find no connection between them and Bazile Chenailler. Bazile was from Jouy in Yonne, and Henri Louis Chenaillier was from Souppes-sur-Loing in the Seine-et-Marne department. However, there may well be a connection between them: the two cities are close to both each other and to Paris, and both Henri Nicolas and Bazile Chenaillier were related by marriage to the Tonnelier family of silversmiths.

PS: Yes, those are bigorne marks; although they both comprise numerous insects in the design, the "patchwork" pattern of the 1819 bigornes are very different from the "zigzag" pattern of the 1838 bigornes.

blakstone
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Re: Spoon maker with “rabbit” figural mark. Another Chenailler?

Postby blakstone » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:01 pm

Correction: Bazile Chenaillier was born in 1779, not 1799. (Not many 8-year-olds registered silver marks.)

JayT
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Re: Spoon maker with “rabbit” figural mark. Another Chenailler?

Postby JayT » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:53 pm

To add to blakstone’s comprehensive information:
-The pointed bowl is a standard shape for teaspoons of the period. They are not grapefruit spoons. The pattern is called Uniplat.
-Bigorne marks were stamped as an added guarantee that the object was silver, not as a way to avoid tax fraud.

The reference for the maker’s marks is: Arminjon, V. I, no. 00478 and no. 00479, p. 85.

Essexboy Fisher
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Re: Spoon maker with “rabbit” figural mark. Another Chenailler?

Postby Essexboy Fisher » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:19 pm

Thank you Blackstone and JayT for your insightful comments on my post a so very rapidly.
It seems first that unfortunately for research, the spelling of both the Christian name and Surname, of this “BC” may cause problems for others in addition to me.
I get from comments that my spoon was not for grapefruit but age wise was not made before 1824 but not after the death of Bazile Chenaillier in April 1829. These dates may be useful for me in identifying the maker of the other spoons in the set. Thank you JayT for clarifying the use of the “Bigorne” mark. I visualised that the positioning of the “Bigorne” would make it difficult to incorporate a set marks into another silver item to avoid tax. Thinking a little more it was probable that the large object and medium object guarantee marks might have inhibited dishonest silversmiths a little.

Fishless

blakstone
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Re: Spoon maker with “rabbit” figural mark. Another Chenailler?

Postby blakstone » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:48 pm

After a little more digging, I can confirm that silversmiths Bazile Chenailler (1779-1829) and Henri Louis Chenaillier (1811-1859) are in fact uncle and nephew. Henri Louis' father, also called Henri Louis Chenaillier (1782-1853), a merchant, was Bazile's brother.


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