Today we are pleased to offer for sale a beautiful antique centerpiece epergne made by the firm of the famous silversmith and innovator, Matthew Boulton, in Birmingham, in the early 1800’s.
Matthew Boulton, 1728 – 1809, was so important to British and World industry that his image is currently used on the £50 note issued by The Bank of England. This epergne features the Boulton “Sun” hallmark on the base of one of the paws, which leads us to believe this piece was manufactured by Matthew Boulton’s firm after his death in 1809. This is a large, elegant ornamental centerpiece, done in the fashionable late George III/Regency neoclassical style. The oval-shaped silver-plated frame features lion paw clawed feet with fluted neoclassical supports holding the large central bowl, which is crafted of heavy crystal and features a light-catching pleated design. This bowl also features a later, bespoke fitted water-tight metal container for holding flowers. Four slender cabriole arms radiate from the lower half of the base; they support smaller, pleated crystal bowls. These four removable arms are numbered and correspond to a slot in the base, which features a central flame-like finial. This piece will make a stunning centerpiece on a dining table or sideboard and will look wonderful filled with flowers, fruits, culinary delicacies, or even candles.
The epergne presents well and is in good antique condition, with wear and patina commensurate with age and use. There is minor wear, tarnish, scuffing, and minor loss to silver-plating. Some of the arms have minor distortions. The central has a large damaged and repaired area – this repair most likely dates to the 19th century was it was done with staples to hold the large chip to the rest of the bowl. The bowl has a few other minor fleabites/chips along the top border. The smaller bowls are in good condition, with no cracks, and a few scattered fleabites/small chips. The metal liner has minor wear, oxidation, and a few dings.
Dimensions: 18-1/2″ in length, 18″ in width, 11-3/8″ in height