Thursday, 19 February 2009

Bring it back

e·pergne (-pûrn, -pârn)

A large table centerpiece consisting of a frame with extended arms or branches supporting holders, as for flowers, fruit, or sweetmeats.

Moulded clear art glass epergne, centered by a trumpet form top, having two shallow dish tiers and waisted center support ending in a round footed base, 53cm high.

An early 20th Century W.M.F pewter epergne.
Rectangular base supporting twin strut arms terminating in circular clear glass bowls flanked by central conforming trumpet vase, 46cm high.

Victorian glass epergne.
Five piece mold blown clear glass epergne, base with folded water splash crimped and fluted edge, threaded support base, center trumpet and three side trumpets each with threaded body. Center trumpet with fluted and crimped edge, six sided base. Three side trumpets with Jack in the Pulpit shaped crimped rim with top projection and folded base.

A Baccarat ormolu mounted glass centrepiece.
A moulded trumpet shaped vase above a dish and scrolling stem supported by three hippo tusks, 59cm h, moulded mark Baccarat, 1875.

As dining rooms go the way of the dinosaur, so too do the accouterments. Admittedly, the epergne has not been fashionable for some time. As dinner parties have become more intimate and less formal the taller, and grander, centrepieces have become virtually obsolete.

The examples above are positively pedestrian when compared to the 18th Century and some of the more elaborate Victorian styles. Yet, by today's standards they seem too grand and superfluous. Surely, that alone should be enough to warrant a revival.

Now playing on iTunes: Moloko - Sing It Back (Album Mix)
via FoxyTunes


maison21 said...

love an epergne. bring 'em back!

Paul Pincus said...

love the victorian!

Pigtown-Design said...

i love that word. it just sounds elegant!

Jill said...

I adore the one with the horns! So unique.

Mr. Bluehaunt said...

I want a really ornate one for my 50's table...... overflowing with sweets of course....

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Agreed! I've been thinking along these lines for a while... stacking cake plates to simulate one for my table. That second example would be most welcome!

Were they primarily for sweets? Or flowers? Both? I am sadly lacking in some knowledge ... so much to learn...

HOBAC said...

E&EL - Both, flowers went in the trumpet shaped vases and sweets (or candied fruits) went in the dish sections.