Fish knives are broader and flatter than most knives, with an especially pointed sharp edge on the tip of the blade, to make ease of removing fish bones and to delicately slice the fish or remove its scales.
Servers are flat and wide, usually triangular and almost trowel shaped. These are for passing and serving food without touching it by hand, and the flat surface of servers suggest that they are intended for use with food such as meat, cake and breads.
Fish fork servers are usually much larger than traditional table forks, being wider and longer to assist with serving fish, and often feature four tines or more, which are the prongs of the fork.
At AC Silver we are pleased to be able to offer our customers a wonderful collection of fish servers, services of fish knives and forks, as well as canteens of cutlery containing fish knives, fish forks and fish servers.
For manufacturers of cutlery (cutlers), this was a highly successful time, as they were able to produce several hundred eating utensils in various design styles which could even incorporate additional materials to the handles to make them more aesthetically appealing. In the case of fish servers, knife blades were frequently embellished with piscatorial-related engraved decoration.
In the Victorian era, fish servers and cutlery sets also made fabulous gifts. It was common place for brides to request fish services as gifts to add to their silver flatware collection as a dining table could be set with twenty-two or more different pieces at each place setting, each having a unique purpose for the banquet; the term banquet is relevant, as it was quite common for these meals to last eight hours.
This small table knife is specifically designed to facilitate the eating of fish. The knife blade has a curved sharp edge, perfect for sliding between the skin and flesh of the fish. The broad blade is a useful feature as it assists in lifting the fish to the fork, whilst keeping flakes in one piece. The blade terminates in a relatively sharp point which is useful to lift small bones away from the flesh.
The wide surface may also be used to scrape up, or spread any sauce served with the fish.
As with the fish knife, the fish fork is used with fish dishes. The standard fish fork is smaller than a table fork at approximately 7 ¼ to 7 ¾ inches long. Fish forks (and knives) often have an incurve shaped form (pictured); this feature was likely simply to differentiate it from all the other forks that could be present on the table, as there were frequently many.
Like traditional dining table settings, the fish knife and fork are placed in order of use. Therefore, if fish is being served as an appetiser, the fish knife is laid to the right of the dinner knife and fish fork to the left of the dinner fork.