One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ornamental centrepiece for a dining table, typically used for holding fruit or flowers.
- ‘The consignment consisted of costly goods, including epergnes, table and dessert services and ornamental figures.’
- ‘Why, I was admiring the beautiful epergne in the drawing room.’
- ‘Among the donations by Schuyler's great-grandson is a delicate silver epergne made in London in 1774-1775, reportedly used by Philip Schuyler during the American Revolution, and an unmarked plateau that may have been used with it.’
- ‘Cake/dessert, or sweetmeat baskets are extremely popular and apart from the converted liners already mentioned, dismantled epergnes and converted goblets are the two most common deceptions.’
- ‘The epergne, or centrepiece, enjoyed popularity in the 18th century.’
Early 18th century: perhaps an altered form of French épargne ‘saving, economy’.
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