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Wolfer Freres (Phillipe), Belgium, Art Nouveau 800 Silver Plate

Wolfer Freres (Phillipe), Belgium, Art Nouveau 800 Silver Plate
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A google search will, among other material, bring forward two lengthy, extensively illustrated and particularly informative articles authored by researcher Martine D’Haeseleer about the Brussels firm of Wolfers Freres and its artistic director Phillipe Wolfers, whose design sensibilities are immediately evident in this 9" diameter, 11.0 T. oz., plate.

The import of Wolfers in late 19th century Japanese aesthetic style was pronounced, and under Phillipe's direction the firm became a premier producer of Art Nouveau, i.e. Jugendstil, style silver.

Indeed, the firm's work is highly reminiscent of Gorham's storied "Martele" line. This parallel is fully evident on this plate with its hand raised, flowing floral and reed themes, with Wolfers actually predating Gorham.

This comparison is fitting, as confirmed by D'Haeseleer's observation that, "Wolfers became one of the most famous Belgian and Brussels silversmith companies of the 19th century, its reputation comparable to those of Emile Puiforcat, Odiot or Aucoc in Paris, Garrard in London, Tiffany or Gorham in America."

In very fine condition, the only evidence of use on this are fine surfaces scratches. The chasing is flawless and free of polish wear. There are no bends or dents, and the hand-polished-only finish is bright.

The marks on the underside exactly match those illustrated by D'Haeseleer on a similar style piece attributed to Phillipe Wolfer. They are a "German crescent moon and crown" (Wolfers had German and Dutch ancestry), "three stars in a triangle" which was Wolfers's house mark, and Belgian mill mark "800."

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