Edwardian two piece EPBM coffee/tea set, comprising tea pot and coffee pot, stamped James Dixon EPBM to base, leaf and walnut finials (some wear to plate). Height 18 cm (tea pot), and height 29 cm (coffee pot)
EPBM / Britannia metal. Britannia metal is a pewter type alloy, that can be temporarily polished to a silver-like lustre. In the 19th century, Britannia metal, was often electroplated. Plated wares in this metal may be marked EPBM (electro-plated Britannia metal). Where the silver plate wears on an EPBM item, the surface colour is dull grey, similar to pewter. Britannia metal was generally used as a cheaper alternative to electroplated nickel silver (EPNS) which is more durable. The primary component of nickel silver is copper and wear on an EPNS item will be indicated by a copper colored hue in the wear spots. EPBM items are held in low regard by collectors.
finial. An architectural decoration, found on the upper parts of of an object. On furniture they are usually found on pediments, canopies and shelf supports. On smaller ceramic or silver items they may decorate the top of the item itself, or the lid or cover where they provide a useful handle for removal.
Finials follow a variety of forms. They may be urn-shaped, baluster shaped round or spiral, but usually taper into an upper point. Many real life shapes may also be used as finials, such as pineapples, berries, pinecones, buds, lotus and acorns. Sometimes animals such as a lion are depicted, or fish and dolphins.
The buyers premium is an additional percentage charge on the hammer price of the item, imposed by the auction house to cover administrative costs. The buyers premium percentage varies between auction houses, with a range of 12.5% to 22%.