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Fish slice

Fish slice

  • Place of origin:

    New York (State) (made)

  • Date:

    2000 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gray, Myra Mimlitsch, born 1962 (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sterling silver, hammered and bevelled

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    M.105-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The traditional trowel shape of this server strikingly contrasts with the original and contemporary chain-mail decoration. The elegant form of this slice is composed of a hammered sheet panel blade that rises in an elegant curve and splits to form the edging of the handle. The chain-mail perimeter of the blade is balanced by the chain-mail interior of the handle. Interlocking rings hammered flat and bevelled at the edges create this striking effect. The war-like connotations of this decoration seem contradictory to our preconceptions of dining as an entertaining and relaxed activity. This beautifully integrated piece is both original and timeless.

Physical description

The slice is of classic trowel 18th century shape, but is quite otherwise in construction and design. The blade is made with an outer fused chain-mail perimeter of interlocking rings that are hammered flat and bevelled at the edges. The chain-mail surrounds a central, hammered sheet panel that lifts and splits to become the heavy edge wire surround of a long, flat handle composed of a central convex, fused chain-mail panel.

Place of Origin

New York (State) (made)

Date

2000 (made)

Artist/maker

Gray, Myra Mimlitsch, born 1962 (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Sterling silver, hammered and bevelled

Dimensions

Length: 15.4 in, Length: 39 cm

Object history note

Historical significance: Gray's work explores the insight into social attitudes that can be elicited from presentation objects. Changes in design and manufacture have many ideological implications that interest Gray. Through her work Gray aims to define a historical and social era. In this fish slice "utility becomes a vehicle for ideas about craft and form".

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, New Paltz, New York, 2000, designed and made by Myra Mimlitsch Gray.

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

Benton Seymour Rabinovitch, Contemporary Silver, Part II: Recent Commissions, Seattle, 2005, pp. 56-7. 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]

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Hammering; Bevelling

Categories

Metalwork; Eating

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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