Silver chinoiserie epergne

Pitts, Thomas

Silver Chinoiserie Epergne
Silver Chinoiserie Epergne

‘One of the prettiest things I ever saw’. Parson Woodforde, 1783 The Leeds Art Fund made a generous grant towards the acquisition of this silver chinoiserie epergne from the Pippa Rakusen Bequest Fund.

The silver epergne (or table centrepiece) is in the chinoiserie style, one of the alternative forms of decoration which became immensely popular in the middle years of the 18th century.Artists, architects, designers and craftsmen were inspired by ideas of so-called ‘Chinese’ landscapes, buildings and decoration which they adapted freely for new and imaginative luxury goods. 

In this case the centrepiece is in the form of a Chinese pagoda or garden pavilion, complete with upturned eaves, hanging bells, pierced baskets and dishes. They would have contained fruits and delicacies for the dessert course at dinner and the table might have had additional ornaments such as porcelain figures and sugared sculptures. In the mid 20th century this example was owned by the legendary fashion writer and hostess the Hon Mrs Daisy Fellowes.  

Silver

Thomas Pitts

Other pieces in our collection

The Sower

Millet, Jean-Francois

Lithograph, 19.1 x 16.1

Become a Friend to Art in Leeds

Show your support for arts in Leeds, enjoy exclusive membership benefits and help to acquire great art for the city. Join for as little as £20 per year.