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Fish slice

Fish slice

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1814-1815 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Knight, William (maker)
    Knight, Samuel (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss M.R. Campbell

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 65, The Whiteley Galleries, case 25

This fish slice would have been part of a silver table service. By the time it was made in 1814 to 1815 almost every flatware service included such a slice. The advantage of silver was that it did not taint the delicate flavour of the fish. The pierced decoration also allowed any liquid to drain away.

The fish slice evolved from the ‘Pudding Trowle’, such as the one supplied to the Earl of Kildare in 1745. The ‘trowle’ normally consisted of a triangular blade which was pierced and sawn to various designs. It was soon used for fish as well as pudding. By the 1770s, when it was suddenly fashionable to eat whitebait, silversmiths supplied a large number of trowels both with fish-shaped outlines and also pierced and chased to represent one. The earliest trowels usually had solid silver handles. Later examples had turned and stained ivory handles.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1814-1815 (made)


Knight, William (maker)
Knight, Samuel (maker)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

William and Samuel Knight


Crest unidentified, a hand grasping a spear

Object history note

Acquisition RF: 57 / 982
Gift - Miss M R Campbell of Jura

Labels and date

London, 1814-15
Mark of W & S. Knight
Slices or trowels for serving fish are recoded from about 1730. Shaped like the fin of a fish, the decorative openwork made by saw cutting enabled the juices to drain. Silver was a preferable material to copper or tinned iron as it did not affect the delicate flavour of the fish.
Miss Campbell of Jura Gift
M.31-1957 [26/11/1996]


Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery; Scotland


Metalwork Collection

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