Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Fish slice

Fish slice

  • Place of origin:

    Sheffield (made)

  • Date:

    2002 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thomas, Barry (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sterling silver, set with a moonstone

  • 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

This server is an abstracted fish. The blade is an asymmetric trowel shape with a gentle curvilinear form that captures the "fishy" essence. It is bevelled on the left side and over half of the blade is pierced in an intricate swirling pattern suggestive of seaweed. This piercing is continued along the topside of the hollow handle, giving a pleasing unity to the piece. The triangular cross-section and straight end offset the natural curves of the blade. The interior of the handle, visible through the piercing has been given a white matt finish that subtly highlights the white moonstone eye of the blade, suggesting light glancing off the scales of a fish. This delightful piece has a sense of movement and action created by the fluidity of form and the freedom of the piercing.

Physical description

The blade is an asymetric polished trowel that has two slightly waved contours, right and rear, and a gently convex bevelled left side. Somewhat over half the blade, leaning to the right, is highly pierced in a rambling, curving slit pattern that carries up continuously into the top side of the handle. The latter has a tapering, triangular cross section and a waved rear edge. The handle passes into a conforming slot at the rear edge of the blade. The interior of the handle has been pickled to a white, matt finish, while visible through the piercing. The blade is decorated with a small up-pointed moonstone set into the pierced area.

Place of Origin

Sheffield (made)


2002 (made)


Thomas, Barry (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Sterling silver, set with a moonstone

Marks and inscriptions

Sheffield hallmarks for 2002

Mark of Barry Thomas


Length: 32.5 cm, Weight: 443 g

Object history note

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

Historical significance: Thomas' work is "an ongoing search for the perfect combination of lines, curves and balance." The artist seeks to design in a multi-layered way so that his pieces reveal something new on each viewing. He combines "composure, grace and …humour" in his work.

Historical context note

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

Descriptive line

Silver, Sheffield hallmarks for 2005, mark of Barry Thomas.

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

Benton Seymour Rabinovitch, Contemporary Silver, Part II: Recent Commissions, Seattle, 2005, pp. 40-41. ill.

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]


Silver; Moonstone


Piercing; Pickling (metal-working); Bevelling


Metalwork; Eating


Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.