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Case Studies / The Palace Epergne


Designed and created for a Royal Palace, The Palace Epergne has stunning engravings, bright polished basins and is an interesting example of gold-plating techniques in practice.


Case Study – The Palace Epergne

Thomas Lyte holds a Royal Warrant as Goldsmith and Silversmith to Her Majesty the Queen. We craft masterpieces, bespoke gifts, objet d’art, and silverware of unparalleled quality for private individuals, governments, corporations, clubs, five-star restaurants or hotels and some of the world’s most exclusive brands, like Louis Vuitton.  We’ve collected some of the best examples of our work into case studies with photos and insight. Read on to discover more about The Palace Epergne.

Designers and makers of gold and silver bespoke royal palace centrepiece

What is an epergne?

An epergne is a type of table centerpiece, typically made from silver, used to hold any type of food or dessert. It may also be used as a designer piece to hold candles, flowers, or ornaments. In traditional use, an epergne is used to display side dishes, fruit, or sweetmeats.


“Stopping off”, gold plating and engraving

To achieve the wonderful golden engravings that stand out upon the sterling silver base of the epergne, our craftspeople first engraved the piece, and then used a plating process called “stopping off”.  This is where a lacquer is painted onto the surfaces that you wish to remain untouched during the plating process, leaving only the areas that you wish to plate uncovered.  To achieve the level of detail seen on this piece you must be highly accurate so that only the engraved lines are gold plated, leaving the remaining surface area with a bright polished silver finish.

Goldsmiths and silversmiths craft the bespoke epergne in London workshop

Meet the Makers

Our team make the conceivable possible, while preserving traditional skills, pioneering modern methods, and promoting authentic British craft across the globe. Combining the latest technologies with centuries of knowledge, Thomas Lyte’s silver workshops in London, England house world-class facilities for an elite team of designers and makers, masters of their craft. Learn about 3D printing, electroforming and other new technologies that our team have introduced to our sustainable handcrafting process.

Our Process


Materials. Sterling Silver + 24 Carat Gold Plate

Workshop Processes. Spinning, Filing, Casting, Soldering, Polishing, Plating, and Engraving


The Palace Epergne

Thomas Lyte’s master craftsmen and women were proud to present this beautiful epergne.

Take a glance at these fast facts about this stunning bespoke piece.

  • What is an epergne?
    An epergne is a type of table centerpiece, often elaborately decorated, that is usually made of silver but may be made from any metal or glass or porcelain. The most popular styles feature a central bowl or dish raised on a column, with branches/arms extending outwards, each holding a bowl. Occasionally, epergnes have additional holders for candles, casters, or cruets.
  • Where does the name epergne come from?
    The name originates from the French epaigner, meaning to be thrifty, the saving of space and time for the presentation of food.
The Details