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.