American Decorative Arts
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Manufacturer: Tiffany and Company, American, founded 1837

Fish Serving Knife and Fork, “Dolphin” Pattern

1883

Sterling silver

Knife: 13 1/8 in. (33.338 cm) Fork: 10 1/2 in. (26.67 cm)
Gift of Ann and Gilbert H. Kinney, B.A. 1953, M.A. 1954
2007.155.2.1-.2
This very ornate knife and fork for serving fish is an example of the eclecticism that characterized so much late nineteenth-century design. Produced by Tiffany and Company, the pattern is known as Dolphin and the front of the handles are decorated with classic eighteenth-century ornament associated with grottoes—cattails, shell, dolphins, and a flowing water source. The reverse, however, incorporates mussel shells and seaweed, decorative elements that draw their inspiration from Japonism.
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Flatware
Geography: 
Manufactured in New York, New York
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

Christie's, New York, sale 7000, The Highly Important American Furniture, Silver, Folk Arts, and Decorative Arts, 20 January 1990, lot 173; by sale to Gilbert H. Kinney, Washington, D. C.; gift to Yale University Art Gallery 2007.

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.