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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fish Slice

Maker:
Schulz & Fischer (American, 1868–1887)
Retailer:
Hain & Pollard (American, ca. 1865–74)
Date:
ca. 1872
Geography:
Made in San Francisco, California, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Silver
Dimensions:
12 1/4 in., 3.103 Troy Ounces (31.1 cm, 96.5g)
Classification:
Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of D. Frederick Baker from the Baker/Pisano Collection, 2016
Accession Number:
2016.533.12
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
The mid-nineteenth century witnessed an efflorescence of creativity in the American silver industry, fueled by the burgeoning middle class’s increasing demand for refined luxury goods. Silversmiths devoted considerable time and creative energy to generating an endless variety of new designs and patterns. During the 1860s and 1870s silver flatware ornamented with portrait medallions inspired by antique coins and cameos enjoyed widespread popularity, with virtually every American silversmith producing their own proprietary "medallion" pattern. This fish slice is in a striking medallion pattern created by a partnership of German immigrant silversmiths named Wilhelm Schulz and Emil Fischer. The firm of Schulz & Fischer provided silver to a well-heeled clientele in San Francisco through retailers such as Hain & Pollard, whose mark appears on the fish slice. From the coast to coast, Americans sought medallion flatware for their tables.
Inscription: engraved on back of handle in shaded script: W {it could be M but is more likely W}

Marking: marked on back of handle: COIN. HAIN & POLLARD. (incuse)
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