A GEORGE III SILVER EPERGNE
A GEORGE III SILVER EPERGNE

MARK OF THOMAS PITTS, LONDON, 1766, SOME BRANCHES LATER

Details
A GEORGE III SILVER EPERGNE
MARK OF THOMAS PITTS, LONDON, 1766, SOME BRANCHES LATER
The oval openwork frame on four scroll and foliage cast legs, with a foliage and flower apron, with central openwork basket and four branches supporting circular dishes, one branch with marks for London, 1842, other branches unmarked, 19th century, and four branches suspending circular baskets with overhead swing handles, engraved with a crest, marked near neck, on four branches, under central basket and four dishes, the four baskets marked with maker's mark only twice, further engraved under central basket with a scratchweight '164"7'
14½ in. (36.8 cm.) high
160 oz. (4,987 gr.)

Lot Essay

Thomas Pitts was born in London and apprenticed first to Charles Hatfield and later to David Willaume, gaining his freedom in 1744. His mark, which must appear early in the missing register of 1758-1773, had previously been attributed to Thomas Powell. However, on the strength of entries in the Parker and Wakelin "Workmens' Ledgers" which lists pages of epergnes by Pitts, the mark has been re-attributed, (A. Grimwade, London Goldsmiths 1697-1837 Their Marks and Lives, page 626).

The epergne, from the French 'pargner', to save, came into use in England at the beginning of the 18th century and was made in many forms to be used as a centrepiece on the table. The baskets and bowls would have held various sweetmeats and condiments to be used at the table.
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