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Chinese Export Silver Filigree & Enamel Basket, early 19th century

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An early example of Chinese Export filigree work, this lovely basket exhibits beauty along with fine craftsmanship. Using very thin silver wire and silver solder, artisans painstakingly created these wonderful exotic items.

The body is framed and strengthened with solid silver with the interior created with circular rows of filigree. The only variation in the filigree is the center of the base which displays a beautiful geometric panel. A swing handle is decorated with a pierced design of interlocking wires. The footed base has lovely bands of flowing foliage emanating from central flowers. Complimentary chasing decorate the four feet.

Beautiful enameling decorate the finial, the four panels on the body and the four panels of the removable cover. This exceptional work is delicately attached with tiny wire hooks.

The handle is marked with the Pantatome and Criquet used in France from 1818-38 designating silver of a foreign origin (Tardy, p. 198). The base and cover are stamped with the Paris mark indicating a fineness of 800 silver (Tardy, p. 193).

This rare basket measures 9 inches long by 6.75 inches deep by 6 inches high to the top of the finial. Given its age and delicate form, this basket is in remarkable condition with slight loss to the overall gilding. There are minor losses to the enameling and one 1-inch piece of applied enameling is missing on the cover (see photo of the cover).