American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A large table centerpiece consisting of a frame with extended arms or branches supporting holders, as for flowers, fruit, or sweetmeats.
- French (Wiktionary)
- Perhaps alteration of French épargne, a saving, from épargner, to save, from Old French espargnier, of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The epergne was a beautiful thing of crystal and gold, a celebrated work of art, regarded as an exquisite possession.”
“An epergne," Evans said, smiling at the extravagance of it.”
“Other times, it is merely the exact word for a thing that sticks in the mind: instead of using the word “centerpiece,” one might say “epergne.””
“A pair of candelabra stood either side of the epergne, their light setting the five or six crystal decanters and the silver serving dishes aglitter.”
“Set defiantly in the center of the jacquard tablecloth was a heavy, flamboyantly molded silver epergne, its stand supported by two Rubens-like female figures.”
“Cheapside, having invested some money in two desks, several pairs of richly-plated candlesticks, a dinner epergne, and a bagatelle-board.”
“The dinner epergne remained at chambers, and figured at the banquets there, which the Colonel gave pretty freely.”
““It is not such a dinner as you have seen at her house, with six side-dishes, two flanks, that splendid epergne, and the silver dishes top and bottom; but such as my Rosa has she offers with a willing heart,” cries the Campaigner.”
“But the dining hall, with its mahogany-lined walls and long refectory table, was empty, the epergne of roses in the centre the only sign of life.”
“They exactly resemble the finest work in frosted silver, the curve of their globular mass of leaves is perfect; and one thinks of them rather as the base of an epergne for an imperial table, or as a prize at Ascot or Goodwood, than as anything organic.”
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