This French spoon is extremely clearly marked and whilst I've had some success using Tardy and the 925-1000 encyclopedia, I still need help! For a start I'm not sure if this is a Besançon spoon or from nearby Dole, I have no idea who the maker is and the exact date is a little confusing to me. Was it made in Dole but legally required to be assayed in Besançon (1783) as it had jurisdiction over Dole and and then had to be stamped with the Dole city mark some time later (1784)?
Breaking it down:
1. Mirrored C below a crown for Besançon (Tardy 5th ed. pg 144);
2. Maker’s mark which appears to be a J above a demi-lion above a sunburst above 'AS'.
3. Besançon mark for 1783 (Tardy 5th ed. pg 144);
4. Dole mark for 1784 (925-1000 encyclopedia). I note from Wikipedia, that Dole had just 9,000 inhabitants 9 years later!
Then there is the crest. This appears to have some religious connotations with reference easily found on-line to it being the symbol for the Charitas Order of Francis of Paola. Did this spoon belong to a rich religious French order or perhaps a religious family who adopted the symbol as their crest, or something else? I'm satisfied that the crest is contemporary with the manufacture of the spoon.
As always, any help would be greatly appreciated.