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Puiforcat Art Deco Onyx and Sterling Silver Covered Tureen, Mexico, 1942-45

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This spectacular covered server is an exceedingly rare masterpiece by Jean Puiforcat. It is a large example of his work executed in a stunning design with exceptional craftsmanship. The futuristic domed cover is beautifully decorated with a row of applied beading around its outer edge, repeated further up bordering an applied silver ring.  The upper ring consists of 32 applied balls while the lower ring is created using 64.

The bold handle is a gorgeous piece of cylindrically carved green onyx. The removable handle has a silver thread and screws on to a threaded post attached to the cover. 

Matching onyx is used for the carved and fitted handles which are fitted and pinned into their side attachments. Silver balls protrude from the sides of the handles. The profile of these handles derives from a motif in the Aztec calendar.

This large tureen is a fantastic example of great Art Deco design with its bold, angular features and decoration. The use of the varying striations and hues of the green onyx against the silver is magnificent. 

Jean Puiforcat was the undisputed master of the Art Deco period in French silver.  His stunning geometric designs can be found in many important museum collections.  During the Second World War, he set up shop in Mexico City at Parque Melchor Ocampo 64.  He was deeply influenced by Mexican art and design - the design of the handles of this piece derives from the Aztec calendar.  His work from this period is rarely seen on the market.    

This rare centerpiece/ serving tureen is marked underneath with the mark he used in Mexico along with 'JEAN PUIFORCAT/ STERLING/ MADE IN MEXICO.' It measures 12.5 inches across the handles by 7.25 inches high. It weighs 95.80 troy ounces including stones and is in excellent antique condition. 

A nearly identical covered tureen with green onyx was owned by Andy Warhol. (1) 


  1. Sotheby's, The Andy Warhol Collection - Art Nouveau and Art Deco - vol. 1, Sale 6000, April 23, 1988, lot  46.