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Fish slice

  • Place of origin:

    London (hallmarked)

  • Date:

    1994 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Conway, Ros (designer and maker)
    Lloyd, Michael, born 1950 (chaser)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Britannia standard silver, electroformed, engraved, chased and decorated with gold and enamel, subsequently lacquered

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    M.44-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Although this implement bears a resemblance to the small trowel serving forms that were made in the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth (and which themselves had some models in English and particularly, Continental eighteenth century wares), this article is in a class by itself. Ros Conway, like Malcolm Appleby, has chosen the heart shape form of trowel for her server, but for Conway, colour is the driving force behind her design. The shape of the tiger prawns fits perfectly in the two lobes of the blade, their shimmering colour creating an almost trompe l'oeil effect. The shell topped handle recalls the elaborate and elegant cast ladle handles of the eighteenth century. While enamelling is some two thousand years old, invented as a substitute for precious stones, Conway's pieces are strikingly contemporary, and exploit the potential of enamelling to the point of it being an art in its own right, yet literally and metaphorically welded to the object. This is not a limitation but rather an integral motivation and inspiration for her work.

Physical description

The server has a heart shaped, trowel blade. The rim encloses two engraved tiger prawns enamelled in yellows, blues and greens, incorporating some gold cloisons and separated by a central, barbed, longitudinal rib. The back of the blade was chased in a scallop-shell array by Michael Lloyd and is counter enamelled in a muted basse taille yellow shaded tone. The arched handle was elelctroformed in fine silver with a screw shell terminal and is cold pinned to the blade with a tri-pronged boss; it has a fine brush finish. The enamel has been ground to a matt finish and lacquered to protect the porous surface.

Place of Origin

London (hallmarked)

Date

1994 (made)

Artist/maker

Conway, Ros (designer and maker)
Lloyd, Michael, born 1950 (chaser)

Materials and Techniques

Britannia standard silver, electroformed, engraved, chased and decorated with gold and enamel, subsequently lacquered

Marks and inscriptions

London hallmarks for Britannia standard silver, 1994

Mark of Ros Conway

Dimensions

Length: 24.5 cm, Weight: 217 g

Historical context note

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

Descriptive line

Silver, gold and enamel, London hallmarks for 1994, mark of Ros Conway

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

Benton Seymour Rabinovitch and Helen Clifford, Contemporary Silver, commissioning designing collecting, London, Merrell, pp.40-41. 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]

Materials

Silver; Gold; Enamel

Techniques

Electroforming; Enamelling (painting); Chasing; Grinding; Engraving (incising); Lacquering

Categories

Eating; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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