Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
petard
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Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby petard » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:55 pm

Dear all,

Could anyone please give me any tips as to these hallmarks? They appear French (given the crown and the initials) but I have gone through 20 reference books on French hallmarks and could not find anything. I am starting to suspect that they are not French.

The buckles are made of solid gold and judging by the design should be around 1800. Or perhaps they are French but from one of the occupied regions at the time outside what is today France?....

Any tips would be extremely appreciated!
Many, many thanks!!!

/Users/PDJ/Desktop/Buckles - HRes/Buckles 4 (hallmarks).jpg/Users/PDJ/Desktop/Buckles - HRes/Bouckles 0 (front).jpg

petard
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:44 pm

Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby petard » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:06 pm

Sorry, NOW with the images! MANY THANKS for any tips!!! Really, really appreciated.

Image
Image
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Image

petard
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:44 pm

Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby petard » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:16 pm

Dear all, I feel quite stuck and desperate in my search. Have not moved from the starting point of FFE initials begin potentially from (provincial) France. Is there anyone who can point me at least to a country or a region of France that they think I should look for further? Any lead, even if based on opinion rather than actual evidence, would be MUCH, MUCH appreciated!
THANKS A LOT
Petar

dognose
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Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby dognose » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:03 pm

Hi Petar,

Welcome to the Forum.

Many members of the forum are only occasional visitors, especially at this very busy time of year. Be patient, it is better to wait and get the correct information.

BTW, great items and great images.

Trev.

petard
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:44 pm

Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby petard » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:58 pm

dognose wrote:Hi Petar,

Welcome to the Forum.

Many members of the forum are only occasional visitors, especially at this very busy time of year. Be patient, it is better to wait and get the correct information.

BTW, great items and great images.

Trev.


Hi Trev, thanks a lot for your response and your welcome. I feel like I'm not alone any more on my thread. Haha. Yes, the shoe buckles are extremely rare/unique. They must have belonged to someone quite important who had sufficient resources/standing to have shoe buckles made entirely of solid gold towards the end of 18th century. From what I have researched, normally shoe bucks were made of metal or silver, or rarely when they were made of gold, only the outer frame was made of gold and the inner mechanism was of iron/metal as it was hidden behind the leather and not visible on the shoe anyway. But very, very rarely were the entire shoe buckles, including the inner mechanism, made of solid gold at that time. So getting to the bottom of "F.F.E" initials and the other unidentified mark - perhaps the city/?/ - might possibly even lead to their original owner, which would be absolutely brilliant. But I would be happy even just knowing the maker, because they are so unique.

Thank a lot for you nice message and hopefully someone will be able to provide a clue that can point me in the direct direction.

petard
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:44 pm

Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby petard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:36 am

Dear all,

I did some further research – but still not leading to the maker – so wanted to share the update here.

If they are French, they would have to be from a short, six-year period, from 1784 to 1789, when provincial marks were “non-numerical” and each town in France had its own such a non-numerical mark. The problem is that apparently these marks changed yearly and hence there are a lot of them….

Another possible options, if they are not French proper, perhaps French Canadian (New France) or Belgian from around the same period (as Belgium was under France at the end of 18th/beginning of 19th century).

Any tips or even pure opinions about these? That would be most appreciated.

Many thanks
Petar

AG2012
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Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby AG2012 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:35 am

Hi,
Let`s not be too enthusiastic about museum 18th century buckles in pristine condition for their age. And let`s not forget there was huge Hanau (Swiss and elsewhere) production in GOLD, not only silver. As well as textile workers, who specialized in fashion and fancy goods, the new privileges in Hanau attracted French-speaking jewelers, mostly Huguenots, who were motivated by the prospect of financial gain.
These buckles are most likely much later reproduction, unless proven otherwise.
Regards

petard
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:44 pm

Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby petard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:15 pm

AG2012 wrote:Hi,
Let`s not be too enthusiastic about museum 18th century buckles in pristine condition for their age. And let`s not forget there was huge Hanau (Swiss and elsewhere) production in GOLD, not only silver. As well as textile workers, who specialized in fashion and fancy goods, the new privileges in Hanau attracted French-speaking jewelers, mostly Huguenots, who were motivated by the prospect of financial gain.
These buckles are most likely much later reproduction, unless proven otherwise.
Regards


HI,
Thanks for your response! Of course, there is always a possibility that they are from a later period. At the same time, these large shoe buckles completely fell out of fashion at the beginning of 19th century, so very soon after the end of 18th century - when they were supposed to be made. So it would not be very logical to put in that much gold into something that was not wearable any more. But of course I leave all options open. I must admit I do not know much about Hanau production. What period would that then be? And what would be the signs to look for at a Hanau production object? THANKS AGAIN

petard
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:44 pm

Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby petard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:30 pm

petard wrote:
AG2012 wrote:Hi,
Let`s not be too enthusiastic about museum 18th century buckles in pristine condition for their age. And let`s not forget there was huge Hanau (Swiss and elsewhere) production in GOLD, not only silver. As well as textile workers, who specialized in fashion and fancy goods, the new privileges in Hanau attracted French-speaking jewelers, mostly Huguenots, who were motivated by the prospect of financial gain.
These buckles are most likely much later reproduction, unless proven otherwise.
Regards


HI,
Thanks for your response! Of course, there is always a possibility that they are from a later period. At the same time, these large shoe buckles completely fell out of fashion at the beginning of 19th century, so very soon after the end of 18th century - when they were supposed to be made. So it would not be very logical to put in that much gold into something that was not wearable any more. But of course I leave all options open. I must admit I do not know much about Hanau production. What period would that then be? And what would be the signs to look for at a Hanau production object? THANKS AGAIN


And indeed if they are genuine late 18th century - which I agree with you needs to be demonstrated - then this fashion trend is also very plausible explanation for their very good condition. They were essentially made at the very end of the period, before they stopped being used. Furthermore, I have found out that buckles of solid gold were normally worn only inside and/or on special occasions, like funerals and mourning ceremonies, which furthermore minimised the damage on them.

petard
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:44 pm

Re: Gold buckles with F.F.E hallmark and an unidentified hallmark - French??

Postby petard » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:07 pm

Hi all,

I may have discovered another clue and anyone's advice to take this clue further would be greatly appreciated!

In the book, "Les 6000 poinçons de l'orfèvrerie française sous Louis XVI (1774-1791)", by Christophe GINTER, I found that the region of "Avignon et le Comtat Venaissin" did not use the French marking system during the time of Louis XVI (when the buckles were supposed to be made) - as that region of course did not belong to France. So they used their own system whereby, according to Ginter, two identical marks of the maker are framing the mark of the city in a vertical line. And that's exactly how the hallmarks appear on these buckles (as shown above on one of the photos), consistently all four times (on each side of each buckle).

There are several books on hallmarks of Avignon and the neighbouring area during this period - notably "Les Orfévres d'Avignon et du Comtat Venaissin" by Cassan Claude Gérard - but unfortunately I cannot find this or other books in any of the libraries available to me (do not live in France) or online.

Is there anyone who has experience with hallmarks from this region or perhaps has the mentioned book on Avignon who could have a quick look? Any other advice would be much, much appreciated.

THANKS A LOT!!!!


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