Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
Agman
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:38 am

Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby Agman » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:45 am

I'd be grateful for any theories as to date, maker, form. It appears 18th-century French ... possibly provincial but possibly from one of the French colonies in America or elsewhere?

No marks except the maker's mark -- IPA crowned -- struck twice.

Is the form a type of brandy bowl or primitive wine taster? A small ecuelle?

The weight is 5 ozt; measures about 16.5 cm (6.5 inches) across the handles.

Thanks in advance.

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Joerg
contributor
Posts: 389
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:41 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby Joerg » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:40 pm

Maybe Geneva, Jean Pierre Alquier, 1736-1817, Master 1770.
Ressource, Weltliches Silber 2, Page 55, item 123
Regards, Jörg

Agman
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:38 am

Re: Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby Agman » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:14 pm

Thank you, Jörg. "Weltliches Silber" is in the library I use, and I'll check the mark against it.

The only thing I wonder is whether the style of the bowl might be too crude for Geneva.

Joerg
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Location: Switzerland

Re: Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby Joerg » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:05 pm

Hi
If you search online, you find some items by this silversmith. Their quality is excellent. To your bowl, I unterstand what you mean, very battered. I do not think your bowl was crude when made, imagine it new and undamaged,without dents and repairs. Also without handles. I think it was later repaired, and also the handles may be a later addition. Can you imagine the fine bowl underneath the later additions, damages and repairs?
The maker marks look like a good match. But of course let us wait on Blackstone. If he agrees we have a match.
Regards, Jörg

Agman
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:38 am

Re: Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby Agman » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:49 am

Interesting, Jörg ... I found a coffeepot described as Alquier's by a knowledgable dealer on the big online website. Like mine, it is struck twice with maker's mark only. The marks are more worn than on mine, they appear very close to mine although not exactly so if you look carefully.

Here they are together. Mine is on the left.

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The style of mine still appears to me very different ... but yes, the marks are so similar ...

Thank you for your help. I hope Blakstone sees and comments.

Agman
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:38 am

Re: Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby Agman » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:06 am

Here's a bowl sold by Christie's. It's the exact dimensions as mine (6.5 inches diameter), very similar proportions, and very similar handles. But described as Geneva, mid-17th century, maker's mark ID over B crowned, double struck.

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blakstone
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Re: Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby blakstone » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:06 pm

Definitely Jean-Pierre Alquier. From 1701 until the Napoleonic occupation in 1798, Geneva had three different silver standards which were marked differently:

First standard: 11 deniers (.915) - struck with the Warden's mark and the maker's mark.
Second standard: 10 deniers (.833) - struck twice with the maker's mark.
Third standard: 9 deniers (.750) - struck once with the maker's mark.

So the double-struck maker's mark indicates your bowl is the Geneva second standard of 10 deniers or .833. (Most French-speaking cantons used the denier system, and the Roman numerals XI, X and IX found on Swiss silver of the period generally correspond to these standards.)

As for the Christie's example, I don't see the mark, but from the description I think it's likely Jean-Daniel Barde (1705-1780; master 1731) and therefore 18th (not 17th) century.

Hope this helps!

Agman
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:38 am

Re: Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby Agman » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:16 pm

Blakstone, thank you -- very helpful!

Do you know what the form is, exactly? A brandy bowl or something else?

Seeing the Christie's example makes me think it will be worthwhile for me to get the dents removed -- it would be an attractive piece.

I'm glad to learn something about 18th-c Swiss marks.

Agman
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:38 am

Re: Mystery 18th c French (colonial?) bowl

Postby Agman » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:14 pm

By the way, Blakstone, I posted a spoon -- possibly early Swiss -- in the "Other countries" forum this afternoon that might be of interest to you.


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