Regency Crystal and Ormolu Epergne

  • This beautiful gilt bronze epergne relates to the work of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell
  • The design is based on the work of architect Charles Heathcote Tatham
  • The Egyptian-inspired motif features sphinx supports, mask-cast branches and classical reliefs
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-9075

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The grandeur of Regency design meets superb workmanship in this cast ormolu epergne. Three imposing sphinxes support each corner, reflecting the fascination with Egyptian antiquity brought about by the Napoleonic campaigns of the late 18th century, while scrolling foliate arms elegantly raise four antique cranberry glass dishes. The work relates to the output of the great English goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, and is crafted after a design by architect Charles Heathcote Tatham. A motif originally created in 1801 for Tatham’s major patron, the 5th Earl of Carlisle, this creation illustrates the Regency era's taste for elaborate, bold forms incorporating elements from the ancient world.

Intricately cast, chased and engraved with clear Egyptian influences, the centerpiece bears the hallmarks of masterful workmanship throughout. The craftsman was obviously well versed in Tatham’s published designs as illustrated in the architect’s tome Design for Ornamental Plate. In fact, the design of the base of this very epergne is illustrated within the pages and captioned “A Piece of Plate designed and executed in Silver for the Earl of Carlisle in the year 1801.”

These majestic pieces illustrate the far-reaching design influences of Napoléon’s Egyptian campaign, which not only had a strategic military objective, bu talso marked the unprecedented beginning of the first extensive study into the history of Egypt. Tatham, in particular, was fascinated by the findings of these expeditions. He took advantage of the new-found popularity in Egyptian motifs and melded them into designs he had studied personally in Rome to create a unique oeuvre that emphasized the beauty of antiquity. From the winged sphinxes and bacchanal masks to classically-inspired figural reliefs, the influence of great ancient civilizations prevails.

Circa 1805

24" wide x 21" deep x 18 3/4" high
Regency Crystal and Ormolu Epergne
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Type: Decorative Bronze
Depth: 21.0 Inches
Width: 24.0 Inches
Height: 18.75 Inches
Style: Regency

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