Epergne

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Flowers in a Glass Epergne by E. H. Stannard, 1889
Sterling epergne

Epergne /ɨˈpɜrnˌˈpɛərn/ is a type of table centerpiece, usually made of silver, but may be made of any metal or glass or porcelain.

Design[edit]

An epergne generally has a large central "bowl" or basket sitting on three to five feet. From this center "bowl" radiate branches supporting small baskets, dishes, or candleholders.[1] There may be between two and seven branches. Epergnes were traditionally made from silver, however from around the start of the 20th century glass was also employed.

Use[edit]

An epergne may be used to hold any type of food or dessert. It may also be used as a designer object to hold candles, flowers or ornaments for a holiday etc.

In traditional use, an epergne is a fancy way to display side dishes, fruit, or sweetmeats, or can be used for chips, dips, or other finger foods etc.

Name[edit]

Probably from the French "épargne" meaning "saving", the idea being that dinner guests were saved the trouble of passing dishes (although an epergne in French is called a surtout). In addition the word epergne in French can also mean "spare", another way of saying "to save", or a spare meaning "reserve or extra".

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Epergnes at Wikimedia Commons