Identifying an unusual silver serving piece

Identifying an unusual silver serving piece

An assortment of unusual silver serving pieces
Courtesy of

Ever wonder what those curvy-tined forks are in the old silver service you inherited? Or the oddly shaped spoon? Utensils were pretty specific in the old days…here are just a few silver serving pieces that you shouldn’t live without 😉. (With thanks to and

Unusual serving pieces

Jelly server: This spoon can either have a point and a sharpened edge or a ladle and a long handle.

Toast fork: Apparently Victorians thought touching rolls or bread in a basket would lead to illness, so they used a special serving fork. Its wide tines make it easier to pierce and serve the toast.

Grape shears: These would generally be used at the final fruit course of formal dinners. Diners would use the shears (featuring long handles and a short blade) to cut a small cluster of grapes to place gently on their plates.

Ice cream fork: Used when ice cream was served on a plate instead of in a bowl. It has a shallow bowl with 3-4 tines.

Asparagus fork: It’s made to hold a single stalk of asparagus and features U-shaped tongs.

Small serving forks

Butter pick: Two tines and a smaller size made this the choice for piercing and serving pats of butter.

Lemon fork: These were generally used at tea parties, with wide, splayed tines that made it easier to pick up the lemon wedges.

Pickle fork: A long, skinny fork to get pickles or olives out of the jar.

Pastry fork: The left tine is often flatter, which lets the user hold a plate in one hand while cutting through pastry with the other.

Sardine server: short, wide tines make it easier to spear sardines and anchovies.

And one non-metal utensil

Caviar spoons: Unlike our other examples, these aren’t made of silver (which could hold or give off flavors), but of mother-of-pearl.

These are only a small sample; it’s a lot of fun to figure out what pieces you may have. And with the holidays coming up, this is a great time to make sure your silver flatware is properly insured. Start with an updated professional appraisal (silver prices have gone up a lot!). Contact me at 617-304-0174 or at I’ll even let you know what all of your unusual silver flatware pieces are!

Uniquely yours, Aimee

About Aimee Berrent

Aimee M. Berrent is the owner of A Matter of Brilliance and a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She offers appraisal services such as jewelry appraisals, diamond appraisals, and estate appraisals within Massachusetts and all over the East Coast.
Aimee has over 25 years experience in the jewelry trade, and received her Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) in Residence diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Santa Monica, California, and is a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA).
Aimee has advanced training in jewelry appraisal theory. She frequently attends jewelry conferences and takes courses to stay on top of current gemological advances and appraisal training.

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