This elegant silver objet d'art was made by Ravinet d’Enfert, famed silversmiths located in Paris, for Hermès. This is an excellent specimen of the period and possesses the signature Art Deco style that the smiths were known for.
Made in the style of a tastévin, this was traditionally used by traders and tasters to assess the health and quality of the wine and was often carried around users’ necks on a chain or in their pockets. The silvered colour of the tastévin was supposed to help with reflecting light, allowing users to examine the colour of the wine more easily. The soldered handle on the back of the silvered tray allows the taster to hold it up to their mouth, and its design is reminiscent of a stirrup, hailing back to Hermès’ equestrian origins.
With curved cigar holders on either side of the piece, there is no question that this design has been repurposed for a more modern use. The case features a beautifully engine-turned pattern that creates a mesmerising concentric pattern, and on outside the tray, the manufacture’s hallmarks and “Hermès Paris” are engraved.
THE STORY BEHIND THE BRAND
Maker of colourful scarfs, delicate perfumes and curious timepieces, Hermès has diversified quite a lot since its equestrian beginnings in 1837. It was founded by the harness-maker, Thierry Hermès, when he opened his first workshop on rue Basse-du-Rempart in Paris. At the time, horse-drawn carriages were the main mode of transportation, so he was kept in good business by the constant need of local Parisians and their preferred means of transport.