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History of Asparagus Servers

Asparagus was cultivated and consumed by the Ancient Romans; however it was only introduced to England during the sixteenth century.


Asparagus did not become popular until the early eighteenth century, when it grew a reputation for being an exotic and interesting accompaniment to other dishes. The infamous chef Mrs Beeton even created numerous recipes using asparagus in many ways, such was its prevalence in Victorian England.


Silver asparagus servers are an item which became de rigéur at the dinner table during the Victorian era, with its strict social conventions on dining decorum and formal parties.


‘Manners and Tone of Good Society’ was the seminal guide to Victorian dining - published in 1880 - featured asparagus servers and the etiquette around consuming the rather cumbersome and awkwardly shaped vegetable with all the elegance and sophistication that was expected of the Victorian high society.


What Are Asparagus Servers?


Asparagus servers are any piece of cutlery which was created with the sole purpose of picking up and consuming asparagus! As antiquated as this may sound in the present day, serving asparagus to guests using spoons or forks can be a clumsy affair. These pieces are not only practical, they are evocative of an era when manners and formality was of the utmost importance while dining.


At AC Silver we are fortunate enough to have a wonderful set of asparagus servers which are offered in their original presentation box, and feature incurved, torpedo style serving terminals


Types of Asparagus Servers


Asparagus tongs and asparagus servers are two different items; with servers being a term which includes asparagus tongs. The ‘tongs’ are the types of asparagus servers which are a single piece of silver which is in the shape of a ‘V’.


asparagus server history

This particular set is a wonderful example of antique asparagus tongs from the esteemed silver maker Mappin & Webb, and is delightfully decorated so that the tongs themselves are in the form of asparagus tips. This set was offered in its original presentation case.


There are types of asparagus servers with large, flat heads, so as to grab more than one piece of asparagus at a time, and there are also delicate, thin tongs.


Asparagus tongs or asparagus servers became an integral part of any comprehensive canteen service, and these services were designed to provide every obscure and unusual dining instrument possible.


Antique silver asparagus tongs are another fascinating item which serve to remind us of a bygone era, while also still being very useful while serving dinner.


 
Andrew Campbell started trading in antiques during the 1970s. Initially, Andrew lived in the South of England, travelling the country, searching for items of silver to buy. Andrew sold these items at various London markets and antique fairs. Over time, and through selling at a range of venues, Andrew built up a large and diverse customer base from private buyers to national and international trade customers.
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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE,
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T: +44 (0) 191 240 2645
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