Georgian Old Sheffield plate British Epergne, circa 1800
Epergne in Old Sheffield plate, the upper band supporting the central crystal has an elegant Greek key decoration with a beaded border, from it depart the sinuous legs that end with feet in the shape of a sphere, to form the body of epergne an elaborate wire-work was performed, the detachable arms terminate in small wire containers that support crystal cups, there are no marks (as was in use at that time, see the institution, built by the silversmiths, of the “Assay Office” of 1773, which prohibited the use of marks for any object that was not silver) but we can date it between 1800 and 1810 the most interesting stylistic period of George III. The cup and the little cups were cut and ground by hand in crystal reproducing them perfectly from the original pattern, to do this delicate and accurate work a skilled and important Italian master glassmaker from Florence was chosen. Épergne, a French term, indicates a trophy to be placed as a centerpiece, with baskets (or central, or supported by arms and therefore mobile) to hold fruit and sweets. The term perhaps comes from reserver, meaning to put into savings, therefore in addition. An alternative French name is surtout. Epergne is written in English. Nice conditions overall. Diameter 55 cm, height 32 cm.