Claude Dargent: Master of Silverware

On 09 April 2021, by Anne Doridou-Heim

An 18th-century Parisian silver shaker scattered its blessings on a sale devoted to silverware.

Silver baluster-shaped shaker decorated with flat sections, fluting and double stylized shells, standing on a pedestal with doucine and thread borders, master silversmith Claude Dargent, admitted in 1722, Paris, 1733-1734, h. 23 cm/9 in, weight 648 g/22.8 oz.
Result: €53,172

This sale featured high-quality silverware items from the collection of a Cévennes enthusiast, illustrating the vitality of this specialty in France's beautiful 18th-century provinces. One outstanding piece, a shaker hallmarked in Paris in 1733-1734, executed by aptly-named Claude Dargent, garnered the top price of €53,172. Listed but not well documented, this master silversmith, recognized as such in 1722 after an apprenticeship with Aymé Joubert, used the image of a sun in his hallmark. In 1733, he replaced it with a moon: a poetic little detail. As for the shaker, while we hardly need to dwell on this iconic 18th-century object with its typical baluster form on a small pedestal, it is worth stressing the elegance of this model, with its fluting, flat sections and double stylized shells.

Meanwhile, a warming pan by Jean-Simon Gallien from 1767-1768 (l. 12.5 cm/4.92 in, weight 1,907 g/67.2 oz) reacted to the return of the cold weather by heating up to €27,852, and an oval sugar bowl illustrated the art of civilian silverware in the Languedoc region of the 1770s. Executed by Jean-Louis Lespinier, listed in Narbonne between 1731 and 1773, this landed €25,953. With all these splendid pieces and many others, the sale made a final total of €821,291.

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