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Cake slice

Cake slice

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1992 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Coates, Kevin, born 1950 (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt, cast and chased with an agate blade

  • 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 an ornamental sculptural piece rather than a functional object. Coates's style is uniquely his own. If it has a precedence, it is in the glories of the Renaissance. He seeks the essence of things in his life and his work. This piece brings out his fascination with allegory and with myth and they are linked by him as he connects to past and present. His work is drenched in meaning, a challenge and stimulus to the owner and user. In his combination of precious and semi-precious materials, in his skills as a modeller and his technical virtuosity, he unites the crafts of jeweller and goldsmith.

Physical description

A banded agate blade that has been coloured blue is held by the wings of a finely modelled cast angel, which forms the handle. The blade is trowel shaped with rounded contours. It is enfolded ion the underside by the wing feathers. The handle is patinated and coloured by processes devised by the artist.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1992 (made)


Coates, Kevin, born 1950 (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt, cast and chased with an agate blade

Marks and inscriptions

London hallmarks for 1992

Mark of Kevin Coates

Inscription on the banne: "PANIS ANGELICUS"
Angel bread

Inscribed on the back, the signature of Kevin Coates and the date 1992


Length: 24 cm, Weight: 359 g

Object history note

Fish & Cake slice exhibition RF.2004/419

Historical context note

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

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt and agate, London hallmarks for 1992, mark of Kevin Coates

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

Benton Seymour Rabinovitch and Helen Clifford, Contemporary Silver, commissioning designing collecting, London, Merrell, pp.38-39. 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]


Silver-gilt; Agate


Casting; Chasing; Gilding; Patinating

Subjects depicted



Eating; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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