Two knife rests
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Two knife rests or porte couteaux, about 3½" inches long, representing Benjamin Rabier's presentations of La Fontaine's versions of The Tortoise and the Hare and The Fox and the Crow. Silvermaker: Devouge Dupont. $89.95 from Nina Lindzon, through Ebay, Oct., '01.
I first saw these—and was delighted with them--in the Clingnancourt flea market several years ago. I believe that the full set includes twelve. Each knife rest has been individually cast and is stamped with the signature, "Benjamin Rabier" and with the mark of the silvermaker in the form of a rectangle with the initials "P + a Spoon + D". The knife rests catch both something of the Art Deco era and of Rabier's continuous wit. The connection of the The Tortoise and the Hare fencepost to the ground at the bottom of the hare's back paws is loose.