John Figg English Antique Sterling Silver Fish Trowel, London, 1845/46
By a very good maker, this piece is a wonderful example, beautifully executed with stunningly intricate pierce work. While these are called fish servers, they have been used for cakes, pastries and other foods as well.
John Figg ran a very fine London shop known for very fine chasing and piercing seen most commonly on fine silver mounted glass including claret jugs.
The handle is a simple shape with engraved foliate swirls surrounding an engraved crest of an ax.
The flat blade incorporates swirling foliage and a bouquet at the front. Mixed within this stunning blade is the small figure of an exotic bird.
This wonderful server is fully marked on the back of the handle It measures 10 inches long and weighs 3.80 troy ounces. Due to the delicate nature of the blades on these trowel servers, they usually have been restored. This item was originally gilded and the blade has a few bits of expert restoration in the piercing, which is typical of the form.
Provenance: From the collection of Dale E. Bennett
Literature:Silver Magazine, "Victorian Sterling Fish Servers - A Twenty-first Century Collector's View" by Dale E. Bennett, March/ April, 2004, pp. 28-34.