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Cake slice

Cake slice

  • Place of origin:

    Milan (city) (made)

  • Date:

    1991 (made)
    1981 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Afra & Tobia Scarpa (designer)
    San Lorenzo (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, with pietra dura handle

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The San Lorenzo studio was founded in 1970. One aim was to ask major Italian architects to design silver tableware. This collaboration has resulted in modern, innovative design in a medium that the British have tended to view in traditional terms.

Tobia Scarpa, son of the architect Carlo Scarpa, and Afra Bianchin both studied architecture in Venice. They married, and from 1957 to 1961 Tobia worked as a glass designer at the Murano glassworks of Venini. From time to time he collaborated with Afra. In 1960 the couple began to design furniture for Gavina. Their designs were informed by a deep understanding of materials and empathy for traditional Italian craftsmanship. They also designed furniture for other companies, as well as lighting for Flos and cutlery for San Lorenzo. They carried out commissions for showrooms and factories, including one for Benetton (1964). All these were characterised by a sense of modesty and a highly refined use of space. In the 1980s the Scarpas restored squares in the Italian provinces of Veneto and Emilia.

Physical description

The flat blade of silver in the form of a trapezoid, the bolster curved with an indented thumb rest, the handle, a cylindrical rod of pietra dura capped by a silver disc.

Place of Origin

Milan (city) (made)


1991 (made)
1981 (designed)


Afra & Tobia Scarpa (designer)
San Lorenzo (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, with pietra dura handle

Marks and inscriptions

Underside of the bolster: designer’s mark ats for Afra and Tobia Scarpa,date letter T for 1990, company mark of San Lorenzo, sterling standard silver mark of 925, Milan control mark
-applied in emulation of the virtues of the British hallmarking system
-designers identified with their own punch


Length: 30 cm, Width: 6.7 cm

Object history note

Date of make - 1991 and date of design - 1981
Since its foundation in 1970, the policy of the San Lorenzo studio has been to commission major Italian architects to design silver tableware. The result of this collaboration has been modern innovative design in a medium which the British public have tended to view in traditional terms.

Descriptive line

Silver and pietra dura, marks for Milan, 1991, San Lorenzo and designers Afra and Tobia Scarpa

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

1970-1995 The work of the silversmiths studio, San Lorenzo, Milan. An exhibition at the V&A, ed. Evelina Bazzo, Milan, Electa, 1995. pp.156 & 158, 160-1, 168-9.


Silver; Pietra dura


Forging (metal forming)


Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery


Metalwork Collection

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