Gilded centrepiece suite for the Duke of Sparta by Elkington

By Elkington & Co. (British, founded 1830s)


Presented to the Duke of Sparta as a wedding gift, this outstanding centrepiece suite includes two interchangeable sets of red and clear glass bowls.


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This superb centrepiece suite was crafted in the late 19th century by Elkington & Co., the famed silver manufacturer from Birmingham, England. It was specially commissioned as a wedding gift to the Duke of Sparta (also known as the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Greece) around 1889. Elkington & Co. utilised the process of electroplating, creating wonderful pieces with an eye-catching shiny gold finish.

The centrepiece is lavishly adorned with several putti. Two, one standing and the other one crouching, each one holding a foliate garland or an arrow and a bow, are mounted on both sides. In the centre are further putti flanking an escutcheon engraved with a coat of arms. Above are two shell-shaped bowls with draping and foliate garlands adorning them. Topping the piece is a round pierced bowl centred by a prominent gilt metal figure holding a torch and a shield.

Two bowls are of a similar design, each one with a quatrefoil-shaped base and a wide bowl. Foliate and scrolling motifs as well as winged putti adorn their gilt metal bodies. Each one includes a glass inset that extends above the gilt metal stand.  

A pair of gilt metal candelabra completes the suite. From the central ornate vase extends five scrolling arms with candle cups. At the base, which is also quatrefoil-shaped, sit two putti with one arm raised holding a torch, representing a guiding light and the other holding a laurel crown believed to be a symbol of victory. These two candelabra also have an engraved coat of arms.

The suite comes with a second set of insets crafted from clear cut glass, allowing for the pieces to transform into two different versions.

The maker’s mark alongside other hallmarks can be found on the underside of the pieces.

The set is recorded in The Lady’s Newspaper from 2 November 1889 where it is described as a ‘Gold dessert service presented to the Duke of Sparta as a wedding gift, by two Greek gentlemen resident in London’.

With a fascinating provenance and crafted by a renowned maker, this centrepiece suite would be an outstanding addition to one’s interior.

Centrepiece: Height 58cm, width 81cm, depth 35cm
Candelabra: Height 66cm, diameter 40cm


Artist / Maker
By Elkington & Co. (British, founded 1830s)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Belle Époque
Cut Glass, Gilt Metal, Glass
Clear, Gold, Red


58 cm / 22.8 inches
81 cm / 31.9 inches
35 cm / 13.8 inches


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