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Fish slice

Fish slice

  • Place of origin:

    Seattle (made)

  • Date:

    1995 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Book, Flora, born 1926 (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sterling silver

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Professor B. Seymour Rabinovitch

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The server is a bold dynamic representation of an arching fish. The raised and curved surfaces create dimension, the fluidity of the fish's shape is created through the use of a single sheet of silver. The surface of the server is intricately textured evoking the eddying of water. The server is cross-peened in a swirling pattern and pounced to define the fish's anatomy. The simplicity of design creates a powerful piece with strong presence.

Physical description

The server is forged from a single piece of fourteen gauge (1.6 mm) silver sheet and is in the shape of an arching fish whose tail provides the handle. The "animal" is completely covered on both sides with a texture of swirled cross peening and pouncing that delineates the anatomy of the fish while simultaneously enhancing the action motif of the overall shape and imbuing it with a water wave environmental character. The left edge is bevelled.

Place of Origin

Seattle (made)


1995 (made)


Book, Flora, born 1926 (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Sterling silver

Marks and inscriptions



Length: 33 cm, Weight: 304 g

Object history note

Fairfax House Fish & Cake Slice exhibition RF.2004/419

Historical significance: Flora Book's work is technically simple but has a distinctive style inspired by everything from her everyday surroundings to art from around the world.

Historical context note

Part of a collection of fish slices commissioned by Professor Rabinovitch from contemporary North American and British makers.

Descriptive line

Sterling silver, USA, Seattle, Washington, mark of Flora Book.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Benton Seymour Rabinovitch and Helen Clifford, Contemporary Silver, commissioning, designing, collecting, London, Merrell, 2000, pp. 102-3. ill. ISBN.1858941040

Labels and date

This collection of silver slices, all commissioned over a period of twenty years by Professor Benton Seymour Rabinovitch FRS, is proof of the skill and diversity of contemporary silversmiths. Each artist craftsman has responded to the familiar functional form of the slice in an individual way, producing an astonishingly diverse range of interpretations. Each piece becomes an enchanting, decorative work of art. Professor Rabinovitch established a close rapport with each artist, always encouraging a freedom of creative expression. The response of these silversmiths has been not only to be strikingly imaginative but also to honour him by giving him their best work.

This collection is testimony to the significant contribution that one individual can make to supporting the craft of silversmithing. After commissioning work from some of the most illustrious names in British and North American silversmithing, Professor Rabinovitch has very generously donated his entire collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum, through the American Friends of the V&A. [2005]




Flat chasing; Forging; Bevelling


Metalwork; Eating


Metalwork Collection

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