Emile Hoye (designer) for Magnus Aase Norwegian Silver Figural Sea Creature Fish Servers, Bergen, Norway, c. 1910
Functional works of art, these exceptional servers are very rare and dramatic.
The 'gar'-shaped fork with trident tines has scaled edges. The handle displays a bumpy backbone and terminates with a looping tail with low flowing fins reminiscent of an eel. (Gar is an antiquated name for the needlefish of the North Atlantic. They are often found with mackerel and apparently very good to eat.)
The flat-blade server with similar handle has a magnificent skate-shaped blade with slightly raised edges. The skate has a back similar to an alligator and is designed with heart-shaped piercing inside which radiates from the center to the edges. These wonderful servers show what remarkable items can be created when one borrows from nature with imagination.
Emile Hoye (1875-1958) was born in Denmark, but in 1905 came to Bergen, Norway, home of the important Norwegian silversmithing firm, Magnus Aase. From 1910-16, Hoye was employed as the director of Magnus Aase. Later he started his own business.(1) This design is attributed to him by Norman Weinstein in 'Charles Darwin and the Arts & Crafts' in Style 1900 (Vol. 13, No. 1, Winter/Spring 2000).
These lovely servers are marked on the back '830S NM' and with the Magnus Aase trademark. 'NM' is 'for 'Norsk Monster' and indicates a copyright. The fork measures 9.75 inches long and the flat server is 10.5 inches ling. They weigh a combined 6.80 troy ounces and are in excellent condition.
Annelies Krekel-Aalberse, Art Nouveau and Art Deco Silver (New York: Abrams, 1989), p. 243.
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