Relevant categories: Silver Plate
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At Canonbury Antiques we carry a range of silver plate centrepieces. These detailed and intricate works of art are designed to go in the middle of a dining table as part of the dining arrangement and to serve condiments, sauces, exotic nuts, small food items or perhaps in a purely decorative function to showcase a floral arrangement. They will certainly add a certain oomph to any dinner party - and also look great at other times just as decorative pieces in the centre. In terms of a high end dinner party, they definitely will give it that high class banquet vibe.
We have referred to these pieces as silver plate centrepieces - but they are also often referred to as epergnes. Epergne was originally a French workd and means economy due to the space saving feature of these devices. The silver plate centrepiece can be traced back to the 1700s and are a great way of charting the evolution of dining culture in both the UK and France. From their first origins, the silver plate centrepiece was always a showcase for the talented silversmiths of the day to really illustrate their craft. It was the perfect showcase for their skill and ability, particularly for artists like Elkington, Paul Storr and Matthew Boulton. Working out of Sheffield - a city in the North of England - famous for steel on an industrial level and silver plate on a smaller scale, is where many of the silver plate techniques were first engineered and mastered.
Centrepiece on a Victorian marquetry inlay dining table:
The Elkington technique of electroplating surfaces also developed in England, specifically out of Birmingham in the Midlands. George Richards Elkington worked in the science of electrometallurgy and took out various patents of his system of finishing objects in silver plate. Of course with aristocratic patrons this soon took off resulting in the large array of designs and styles made.
It is that dazzling interplay of silver plate and glass that really captures the eye. Often in rococo and classical styles in the design. Another great feature of the larger silver plate centrepieces is that they sit on mirrored trays so you can really admire the design from all angles. One of our large pieces is almost six feet long with five trays ( as seen above). Another popular version allows you to swap out the glass dishes for candelabras. With all that silver plate the butlers will definitely be kept busy polishing! They are relatively easy to dismantle as often the difference branches to the candelabras and bowls are numbered and are easy to slot into the corresponding hole on the candelabra or column branches. Another popular version has gold plated swans and cherubs holding up the bases to the cut glass crystal bowls. We also carry a range of silver plate candelabas, cake stands, lazy susans and wine coolers.
Many of these silver plate centrepieces are on display in our Canonbury Antiques Hertfordshire showroom - conveniently located just 25 minutes north of London in the leafy Herts countryside. If you are taking the train the nearest station is Potters Bar and we are 8 minutes from town. We are right off the M25 right near where the A1 intersects in near South Mimms. For overseas clients - we are very close to Heathrow, Luton and Stanstead airports - if you are coming by helicopter you can land in the field next to our showroom as some of our clients have!
We have been in business since 1964 coming out of the Swinging Sixties in London - a long journey from numerous showrooms (Islington, Notting Hill Gate, Maryelebone) leading to our current incarnation as leading online retailers in the world of antiques and interiors selling to all around the world from our website.
Below we highlight some videos of silver plate centrepieces from the Canonbury Antiques YouTube channel. The first one illustrates how these charming pieces look on a classic antique dining table, the perfect setting for an epergne.
Below we highlight some detailed photos of these silver plate centrepieces to illustrate the superb crafting and high quality to the work. Very detailed and of the upmost quality.
Hark - gold plated cheurbs sitting atop the tray:
Look down into the mirrored tray so you can admire the centrepiece from all angles and lights:
You can swap the glass dishes for a candelabra for multi-purpose functionality:
Just look at the detailed silver work on this high end centrepiece:
George III Silver Plate Centrepiece Rococo Epergne Clam Dish
Silver Plate Centrepiece Epergne - Sheffield Glass Tray Cherub Dish
Silver Plate Epergne Centerpiece Dish - Victorian Gilt Swan Bowl
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