Pitts, William & Preedy, Joseph – English Silversmiths

William Pitts & Joseph Preedy – Silversmiths

William Pitts (apprenticed 1769, free 1784) was the son of silversmith Thomas Pitts, himself known for his exceptional rococo epergnes, and Joseph Preedy (apprenticed 1765, free 1773) was the son of a Hertfordshire cleric. Although both men are known individually for their exceptional centerpieces and baskets, it is their short-lived partnership, from January 1791 to December 1799, that produced some of the finest silver-gilt epergnes of the late eighteenth century. Preedy probably died or retired shortly after the termination of the partnership, for there are no known works with his mark after 1800, but Pitts continued as a successful silversmith, turning his talents during the Regency to the production of cast candelabra in the neo-rococo style. (His son and apprentice, William Pitts II, would become a noted designer, sculptor and chaser for Paul Storr and his successors.) But neither Pitts nor Preedy ever again matched the summit of excellence achieved in during their partnership.

Information courtesy of New Orleans Auction Gallery, January 2007

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