Isis fish knife
Gorham Manufacturing Company ( American, 1831 )
George Wilkinson ( American, 1819 - 1894 )
William Wilson McGrew ( American )
- c. 1871
While designers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean produced objects in the Egyptian Revival taste, American silversmiths favored simpler forms and more selective application of Egyptian motifs than their European counterparts. Gorham Manufacturing Company's Isis fish set, attributed to its chief designer George Wilkinson, demonstrates the American version of the style. Stylized lotuses engraved and bright-cut on the blade of this fish knife and pierced on the bowl of the matching fish fork (1992.12.2) contrast with rectangular grips and conical finials that terminate the bold handles.
Charles L. Venable, Silver in America, 1840-1940: A Century of Splendor (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art; New York, New York; Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994), 64, 331.
- The original leather box, labeled WM. WILSON MCGREW / JEWELLER / & / SILVERSMITH / CINCINNATI, survives for this example.