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