George III Silver Epergne

  • A grand George III-period silver epergne by London silversmiths John Lawford & William Vincent
  • Epergnes have been a lasting symbol of dining elegance and social status for over 300 years
  • The crafting of an epergne was considered to be the true test of skill for a silversmith
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 28-2753

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A remarkable Georgian sterling silver epergne by London silversmiths John Lawford and William Vincent. The entire epergne is beautifully embellished with fruits and vines, and the central basket is surmounted by two delightful cherubs. The four glass bowls are also surrounded by vine and fruit decoration.

Epergnes have been a lasting symbol of dinning elegance and social status for over 300 years. The crafting of an epergne was considered to be the true test of skill for a silversmith. They were considered more than dinning pieces, but as status symbols of influence and taste. The term epergne is used to describe a table centerpiece made of silver or glass that has a central bowl and branches from which hang delicate baskets to hold sweets, relishes, condiments or candles. It can also refer to a centerpiece that has trumpet-shaped vases to hold fresh flowers. These impressive and intricate centerpieces were made from the middle of the 18th century to the end of the 19th century.

It is believed that the design of the epergne is an evolution of several dining pieces. The nef, a dining centerpiece in the form of a boat, originated in the Middle Ages and was used to hold salt or other condiments. Other influences include the salt, a ceremonial dish used in the Elizabethan period, and the surtout de table, a French centerpiece popular in the early 18th century. By the mid-1700s, the form had evolved to what we know today as the epergne.

Hallmarked London, 1766

17 1/2" wide x 18 1/2" deep x 13 3/4" high
Total weight: 73 ounces
This Georgian silver epergne is a beautiful example of 18th-century silver craftsmanship
Maker: Lawford, John & Vincent, William
Period: 18th Century
Origin: England
Type: Epergnes
Depth: 18.5 Inches
Width: 17.5 Inches
Height: 13.75 Inches
Style: Georgian

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