American Decorative Arts
Manufacturer: George W. Shiebler and Company, American, 1876–ca. 1915

Sardine Fork

ca. 1885

Parcel-gilt sterling silver

6 1/2 in. (16.51 cm)
Gift of Ann and Gilbert H. Kinney, B.A. 1953, M.A. 1954
2007.155.1
In the late nineteenth century, as exotic foods became available through new canning technology and hothouse growing, manufacturers introduced specialized forms to serve them. This fork was designed specifically for serving sardines, and its function informed its decoration. The Shiebler firm was known for making high-quality silver that incorporated novel, cast ornament. This sardine fork sports a realistically rendered fish and seaweed, with an octopus spreading its arms above the tines. The tines are gilt to protect the silver against corrosion from the salt on the fish.
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Flatware
Geography: 
Made in New York, New York
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

Nicholas Harris, Jewellery and Objets D'Art, London; by sale 1989 Ann R. Kinney, Washington, D.C.

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions, July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2008): 171.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.