Gilded Metal British Centerpiece, circa 1900
Impressive centrepiece in gilded silver plate. The triangular base is in fusion finished with a soft chisel and supported by feets in spherical shape. The central part consists of three caryatids in fusion representing Greek vestals in an attitude of prayer. From the top there are three removable arms, always in fusion, shaped as a stylized bird head that serve as candlesticks. The centerpiece ends with a turned and chiseled body that holds a crystal cup beautifully cut and in excellent conditions. The gilding is made with the ancient system of "gilding with mercury vapours". The silversmith of this centre piece was inspired by a model in Old Sheffield Plate of 1812 produced by Gainsford & Nicholson on the design of Sir Francis Chantry, making it a magnificent example of Victorian craftsmanship of its most opulent period. Diameter 40 cm, height 58 cm.