Very large and impressive antique bronze serving platter by F. Margot, this is an interesting and mysterious piece for a couple of reasons.
One reason is its form and purpose. If it were smaller one might think it to be an oyster serving platter. But because of its large size and relatively flat profile, it's clearly not that. The four recesses are a similar shape to an avocado, but again they are bigger and too flat for that to be its purpose.
The hand-sculpted motif gives the real purpose away: this is an unusual grape serving platter, remembering, of course, we are in France after all!
The next puzzle is the maker. A scratched signature to the front reads 'F. Margot'. I don't mind admitting that this is someone who is as yet a mystery. I have never heard of, nor can I find any reference to, him anywhere at all. That might not be too strange if the handwritten signature were the only marking—it could be that of a previous owner or possibly a home-made item... except for two things.
1. the quality of the workmanship is far too high to be a home made item; and
2. to the back is a stamped mark, also reading 'Margot', clearly making this a professionally-made item.
Of course, artists and manufacturers come and go and records can get lost with time, but even searching away from my personal records and library - I can find no trace at all.
There is no doubt of this item's age—it could be pre-French Art Nouveau, but not massively so. One thing is 100% certain: this is an extremely rare item indeed.
Period Art Nouveau is harder and harder to find on the open market, and this would make a sound investment antique, with a fascinating story—so far...
Sizes* 48 cms / 19" across by 30 cms / 12"
Unpacked Weight* - 962 grams
Date* - c 1900
Manufacturer - F Margot
Country - France
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