Czechoslovakian, est. c. 1850
Epergne, c. 1840–1855
48.3 x 30.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of C. Peter Kaellgren
This impressive epergne is made of alabaster glass, a translucent white glass first produced in Bohemia in the nineteenth century. It consists of nine pieces, crowned by a tall trumpet vase. The limited use of apple-green glass and the Rococo-styled gilt motifs painted on the six individual cornucopian-shaped vases add to the elegance and refinement of the piece. Functioning as an ornate centrepiece with a decorative frame and supporting dishes, glass epergnes were often designed to hold flowers. Silver epergnes were generally reserved for the service of sweetmeats or confectionaries. One can imagine the opulent presentation such a centrepiece would afford a Victorian table prepared for dining splendour.