1768 Thomas Pitts Silver Epergne
Appraised Value: $15,000 - $20,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:14)
Sarah Shinn Pratt
GUEST: It was my grandmother's. I remember my mother having it on the dining room table-- any special occasion-- filled with either flowers or fruits.
APPRAISER: And do you know what it is?
GUEST: It's a silver epergne.
APPRAISER: "Epergne" derives from the French verb "épargner," which means to save, and an epergne is something where you store little fruits or sweetmeats or whatever you want in the center of the table. This particular one is quite interesting. It's the height of Rococo in style. You have the shell work, you have the lattice work, you have the scrolling foliage, it's cast and pierced. You've got the scrolling arms, which detach. The dishes are detachable. Each bowl has inside a crest of a sheaf of wheat within a wreath.
APPRAISER: And on the back, you have the English hallmarks which tell you that it's made by Thomas Pitts of London, 1768. Some of the greatest epergnes were made by Thomas Pitts. You also have... scratch weight 98 troy ounces, 10 pennyweights, which the silversmith put on to tell you what this weighed when he first made it. It's helpful to us in the 21st century because sometimes when pieces are missing or a lot of the silver is worn away, if it weighs considerably less than, in this case, 98 troy ounces, 10 pennyweights, then we know something may have happened. If it's a considerable amount less, then we might be suspicious that something's been lost, or if it weighs more than that, then we're really suspicious. Do you have any idea what this might bring at all?
GUEST: 3,000, 4,000?
APPRAISER: Well, I would estimate this at auction to bring probably around 15,000 to 20,000. And it's a spectacular piece. It's in great condition.
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