An Early Victorian Silver and Glass Table Centrepiece or Comport Birmingham 1874 by Horace Woodward
A spectacular Victorian silver table Centrepiece or Epergne consisting of a tall tapered and fluted classical column, above an acanthus sleeve decorated knop and a canopied acanthus sleeve above which is the turned and tapered capital with gadrooned decoration. Above this is the concave bead decorated top. Three branches with Ram's head finials and intricate sunburst and scroll decoration and conforming smaller pans. The base of tripartite form with three cast silver hippocampus to each stepped and bead decorated lobe. Four cut glass lead crystal bowls sit on each of the pans. The larger bowl on the top and the three smaller ones on each of the branches.
Marked to the base for Birmingham 1874 by Horace Woodward. Each of the cast silver hippocampi are also marked with the date letter and the Queens head and each of the silver pans are marked similarly.
This is a truly stupendous piece of Victorian silver of the very highest quality. It will look truly wonderful in any large formal setting. All the parts are in first class condition with no signs of damage or repair. The whole stands absolutely firm on the table. All the glass bowls are extremely good with no damage or repair.
The piece can be taken apart for easy cleaning or storage. The three branches detach from the main body with a turning silver button nut. Each of these is numbered 1, 2 or 3. The main column unscrews from the top part and each of the three hippocampi can be removed by undoing a small nut to the underside. These are similarly numbered 1,2 or 3.
The entire piece is typical of Greek revival style very popular during the Victorian period.
Hippocampus was a Greek mythological figure believed to be made up of a horse with the tail of a sea monster. In ancient Greek mythology the Ram's head was a symbol of energy and will.
Height: 24.5 inches or 83cm
Width of base: 9 inches or 23 cm
Extent of each arm: 10.5 inches or 26.5 cm
Weight: 4582g or 161.6 oz
Diameter of largest bowl: 8.5 inches or 21 cm
Diameter of smaller bowls: 5.25 inches or 13 cm