Thursday, July 7, 2011

Victorian Epergne - Pronounced - E-purn.

English Cranberry Epergne, tri-fold trumpet form base. Ruffled crimped  with clear rigaree that circles the trumpets.

A rare find. A salesmen sample or child's toy Epergne

Stevens and Williams, Amberina Glass with stering base.

Early French Opaline glass with bronge and marble base. 

English Sterling

   The Webster Dictionary defines, Epergne as, A ornamental stand, usually made of glass or silver, holding, vase shaped dishes, trumpets or trays,used as  a decorative centerpiece for serving sweetmeats,fruit,cakes,candy or flowers.  This is a pretty clear picture of what an Epergne is. I often get asked in my shop and on house tours. "what's that thing." The easy answer is ," a flower vase." What ever the defination, whatever you call  them, they are very Victorian.
   While some English Silver Epergnes, date back as early as the late 1700's, for the most part, Epergnes became popular during the  Victorian Area,1800-1900. They seemed to be in there prime around the middle of the 1800's.The first examples were mostly silver. latter, glass bowls and trumpets were added to the silver ones. Soon, entire epergnes were being made of glass. They soon became a favorite decoration for the dining room table.

   The name, Epergne, is from France. A French word e'pargne- meaning,"saving." The idea being that dinner guest were saved the trouble of passing dishes. Although the word in French can also mean,"spare" , another way of saying, to save. The translation seems to have lost something. But, the name has stuck, and  it stands to this day.
    The original  Epergne, was used to hold any type of food or desert. Latter versions, were  more often than not, used as floral centerpieces.
   Many Companies  made Epergnes, both in Europe and America. Names like: Moser,  Mt. Washigton, Stourbridge ,Webb, Stevens and Williams and Fenton,(in modern times). Epergnes have long been collected by Antique lovers, decorators and Museums. All most all fine homes of the Victorian Period had an Epergne on the dining room table.Barbara Streisand was one Famous person, who was known to have collected  Epergnes, from the Art Nouveau period. She sold her collection at auction and collectors paid a high prices to have one that she had owned.
    The Epergne as a centerpiece , was and is, a wonderful invention. There is nothing easier in the world to arrange flowers in, than an Epergne. A small amount of flowers, makes a vast arrangement. Fruit, candy, holiday decorations and other objects ,can be used along with flowers. A lot of people say to me, what if you do not have an Epergne, or can not afford to buy one? I have came up with a  real easy solution for that. Use three stem glassed. I have done this, arranged them with flowers and pictured them in this blog.One can even go a step past that and set the 3 stem glasses in a flat dish and finish the entire Epergne look.
     I went out into the garden last night and picked a small hand full of garden flowers. I have a picture to show you how many. I did  all the arrangements in this Blog Post from that hand full of flowers. If flowers are not available, use greenery from the garden, I love Epergnes in the winter with pine, holly  or ivy. The main thing is, don't be afraid to use your Epergnes. They make beautiful, easy centerpieces.

A hand full of garden flowers in the kitchen ready to arrange in the Epergne

Finished arrangement.

The arrangement in place in the Ladies Parlor.

Epergne with out flowers.

Same Epergne with flowers. 

All three arrangements in a group.

    I hope you enjoy the Epergne  post. Please come by any time for a House tour. I will leave the lights on and if you call ahead, I will fill up a few Epergnes with garden flowers. And oh yes, Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss.

Three stem glasses, placed close together, can create an Epergne like centerpiece.

The three stem glass  Epergne finished centerpiece


THIS IS FOR SALE! Beautiful pink and blue, Italian- Venitian,Hand Blown ,Overshot Glass ,Epergne. Perfect condition $400.00 plus free shipping.

Jeweled butter flies are $5.00 ea. I have 3

THIS EPERGNE IS FOR SALE! at my gift shop, Richard's Great Stuff. Email or call to reserve. 573 242 9688.


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Richard:
What a really remarkable collection you show here. The various epergne which you illustrate are quite lovely, with or without flowers, and would, and we suspect do, make a wonderful centrepiece to any dining table.

Shelia said...

Hi Richard! You have the most beautiful things! Love the idea of using the three glasses to hold flowers. I have those same glasses.
Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

your cranberry glass is beautiful, but I ADORE the sterling silver.....OH MY!!

Barbara F. said...

I love them when filled with those beautiful flowers, and you still have gorgeous magnolia blossoms I see. xo

Dreamgoddess said...

These are beautiful by themselves, but with your arrangements of flowers, they are stunning! I have one epergne, but I can never arrange flowers in mine as beautifully as these are done.

Babs said...

Richard, Your epergne are so lovely by themselves, but with flowers in them they are stunning. I like the way you grouped the wine classes to hold an arrangement.

victorian parlor II said...


Your epergne collection is amazing!!! Thanks for sharing the pics and the info:).



Designs on 47th Street said...

Such beautiful collections, Richard. Oh how I enjoyed seeing everything. I am loving those silver birds and the ruby glasses,and more!
Thanks very much for stopping by to leave a comment. :)

Jeanne Selep said...

Thanks for the pronunciation guide! I NEVER would have guessed that is how it is pronounced. I have searched them in EBAY, but I have NEVER pronounced the word even close. They look cool with the flowers.

lvroftiques said...

Richard I don't have a single epergne.....I'm epergne deprived! lol! I've been looking for one that I both love and can afford and so far nada *winks*
Your collection is fab! Your collections always are! When my collections grow up they want to be just like yours! *winks*
Your floral arrangements are so beautiful too!

Do you really have the same centerpiece maiden??! How cool is that?! Could you shoot me a picture? I'd really love to see yours! Vanna

Debra @ Common Ground said...

These are so lovely, and I have to admit, I've never heard of these, although I've seen one or two. Just beautiful filled with fresh blooms. Thanks so much for linking up. xo Debra

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

Absolutely beautiful pieces!!
Your floral arrangements combined with your beautiful collection are simply to die for!!


designchic said...

What beautiful epergnes. I have a silver one that I use as my dining table centerpiece which I easy to arrange flowers!!

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

Me again! I checked when i got home form work and I DO have the June issue!! I thought it looked familiar!! I will be looking at it with a totally different view having found your blog!!


Trish - Sweetology101 said...

i have just been coveting the idea of owning an epergne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love this post

outjunking said...

Oh my goodness. They are just wonderful. I mean those are the best I have seen. What a collection.
Thanks for wowing us,

LydiaO said...

The English Cranberry Epergne is just gorgeous. Thanks for telling us how to pronounce it too!!

Martha's Favorites said...

Hi: What an amazing collection fo Epergnes. They are breathe taking. I am become your newest follower. Looking forward to getting to know you. Blessings, Martha

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

Wow Richard!! What a beautiful collection! I would be so scared of all that glass to fragile for our gurls. Have a great week....Julian

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such an unreal collection. Everything is lovely and you have included so much interesting and enlightening information. Thanks. Also, thanks for your gracious comments and visits. I always enjoy seeing that you've stopped by. Hugs, Marty

Shelia said...

It's me again, Richard! Oh, thank you for your kind comments about my little sun porch. I live on a little island south of Texas and it's hotter than hot with about 100% humidity! I just stay indoors.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Susan said...

I absolutely adore cranberry glass!

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

So much fun to learn about something new!
I know very little about decorative glass, much less Victorian decorative glass!
Thanks so much for the history lesson.
You have the most beautiful things.

Loved my visit today!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

What a pretty collection !! I always feel a little better educated after reading one of your posts - Thanks !
Also, thanks for stopping by and your suggestion on updating google. I went chrome a while back and it created some other problems, so reverted back. It has been a while, so may try it again in the near future. Things got better after I posted so that is why I deleted it.
I really appreciate your input.
Enjoy your evening.

Sissysmom said...

Such a beautiful collection. You are so talented! When I try to arrange flowers it looks like I stood ten feet away from the vase and just lobbed them at the vase.

Give Sissy Dog a pat on the head for me.

Bill said...

Hi Richard,

I very much enjoyed this informative post. You have an impressive collection of epergnes, and you obviously know how to use 'em!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving the kind comment the other day. I'm so glad to know about your blog and your wonderful historic home. I've already spent time going through your older posts, and found them all educational and highly entertaining.

Thank you again.


Golnaz G said...

Hi Richard,
I have a Victorian Epergne made of Opal with blue trims. There is a single horn in the middle and there are 6 small plate/bowls which are all connected with a metal stand in dark/aged gold color. There are paintings of lady portraits in the middle of each bowl and the bowl resembles to an extent to shells.
Do you know what are these epergnes called as I can not find anything similar on the internet, and how much it is worth. It belonged to my great grandmother.

WhatIf said...

Beautiful collection! i collect EAPG Salvers (cake stands) with over 300; yes an addiction. Have long searched for an epergne but when I find one I love, mympocket book does not:( My most rare salver is Riverside Glass Beaded Wave and thus far none of the over 5,000 people in our group has seen one. It's exciting to make those finds, no? Again, love your taste and enjoy looking at your beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing!