Lot 145
  • 145

A SILVER, SILVER-GILT AND PEARL OYSTER CUP, BY EMILE FROMENT-MEURICE, CIRCA 1880 | A silver, silver-gilt and pearl oyster cup, by Emile Froment-Meurice, circa 1880

100,000 - 150,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Haut. 20,5 cm ; height 8 in.
on a circular base, the stem with two intertwined sirens hodling the oyster  containing a pearl, with two putti and algae frieze, signed Froment-Meurice to the reverse, in its original case wrapped in red leather


Sale Sotheby's, Monaco, 11 december 1999, lot 257 Froment-Meurice collection


Daniel Alcouffe, Bertrand Jestaz et Colombe Verlet, Dix siècles de joaillerie française, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1962 Dix siècles de joaillerie française, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 3 mai - 3 juin 1962

Trésors d'argent, les Froment-Meurice, Paris-Musées, 2003, p. 11 et 20, et n° 100 p. 212


François Dumont, "Froment Meurice, le Victor Hugo de l'orfèvrerie", in Connaissance des Arts, n°57, novembre 1956, pp.42-45 Daniel Alcouffe, Bertrand Jestaz et Colombe Verlet, Dix siècles de joaillerie française, cat.exp. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1962, n° 126, p.105


In overall good condition with some cracks at oyster edges, the end of some algae missing consistent with age and handling. The case stamped inside FROMENT-MEURICE 372 RUE ST HONORE PARIS. Exquisite quality.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Catalogue Note

This coupe is in the tradition of mounted objects. Coconut, ostrich egg and hard stones were so prized in previous centuries. It was also adapted by Froment-Meurice without an oyster shell, (lot 148) where the silversmith takes exactly the same composition with the footed stem shaped by two mermaids, but only in silver. The exhibition catalogue Trésors d'Argent, les Froment Meurice, orfèvres romantiques parisiens, reproduces on page 85 a drawing from a portfolio of orders illustrating a pearl-like coupe. During the short engagement period between King Alfonso XII and his cousin Mercedes of Orleans-Bourbon, daughter of the Count and Countess de Montpensier, Emile Froment-Meurice sent to the Spanish court via the Count of Montpensier a fabulous catalogue of items, testimony of this firm's creativity. It included a drawing depicting an enamel, vermeil and pearl oyster coupe which greatly inspired the vessel that we present. The main difference is the footed stem from the drawing is composed of a centaur and a woman supporting the coupe, probably Deianeira's kidnapping by the centaur Nessus.