Of particular interest to Cristofle collectors, this Antique French Tazza bears the hallmarks for both ALFENIDE and Cristofle.
The manufacture of ALFENIDE started in 1850 by Charles Halphen & Bros., from whom it took its name (the French pronunciation of (H)alphen + IDE).
The silver plate was applied to a unique blend of copper, zinc, nickel and iron, which was created for its solidity and durability.
The ALFENIDE mark was registered in 1877 and 3 years later the entire company and stock was bought by silverware masters Christofle.
This possibly unique Tazza was manufactured during the time when ALFENIDE was still under its own ownership and after the trademark registration (1877-1880) and then sold as part of the stock bought by Christofle.
It bears the following hallmarks - stamped with the word ALFENIDE referring to the base metal alloy, the Alfenide goat hallmark with numbers referring to the thickness of the silver plate (incidentally, the ‘number of grams per set of 12 place settings of cutlery’ - glad that's simple to work out!), and a stamp for the release from the Cristolfe factory, which would have happened in the mid-20th century.
This is a very rare piece, not only for its design, but also because it bears the mark used before Cristofle bought the company (later they used simply the ‘goats head’ stamp to indicate the use of the base alloy and silver plate) plus the later Cristofle mark.
The condition is as seen. There are some misses to the plating, some indentation and it is a little out of shape—completely acceptable for being nearly 140 years old and having moved from one factory to another.