A once in a lifetime find. Must be seen in person to truly appreciate the level of detail and craftsmanship that covers every single inch of these pieces. Created by Hanau based silversmithers Schleissner - this piece dates to c. 1915 - but as was Schleissner's trademark, is created in the style of much older works. This drinks service is decorated in a hunting scene. Mounted riders chase foxes through a pastoral landscape of fences, rollicking fields and across paddocks and through meticiulously detailed forests.
The silver is continental - rather than sterling - and is solid throughout. No plate here. The silverwork is entirely hand chased in a deeply wrought repousse, detailing variations on the hunting theme. The glasswork is entirely hand etched with a level of detail that is difficult to reproduce in photos - facial expressions, foxfur and leaves on trees have been painstakingly reproduced. The set comes with a very tall, substantial "shaker" style mixing glass (measuring an impressive 14" high, by 7" across), with a removable cap and an integrated silver straining spout. The formidable tray (at 20.5" x 8" x 3") has room for the shaker and 9 remaining cordial / sherry glasses, with room to spare. The glasses are silver stems, entirely hand decorated, upon which rests a small etched glass bowl - the perfect size for a classic martini or an after-dinner cordial. There are nine glasses, measuring 5" high by 3" across - one with a crack.
Taken together, the effect is impressive. This is a not a piece, these are more than glasses. This is a service, and like all great services, they do more than simply provide a vessel for food or beverages. A service of this scale and quality creates a social gathering in and of itself. It's the only excuse needed to have friends over to share a drink. It redefines whatever room it is in, not just in form, but in function.