A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

OPENWORK

A style of reticulated decoration on silver articles, featuring openings in the body of the piece which permits the passage of light.
Openwork in silver is the technique that produces decoration by creating holes, piercings, or gaps that go right through the metal obtaining the effect on the viewer to see right through the object.
In this case the work is executed with various techniques as piercing (metal pierced to make a pattern of small holes), saw cutting (using a saw to make holes of irregular and decorative shape) or wirework (creating decoration made of silver or plated wire).
Openwork is used for decorative purposes in bread baskets, fruit-bowls, rims of salvers and trays.
Some other types of objects naturally suit or even require openwork as fish slices, mazarines, tea strainers, sifters spoons, casters or require openwork to allow a flow of air through screens as censers, incense burners or warmers.


openwork silver bread basket, saw cutting technique, London 1778 openwork silver bread basket, wirework technique, London 1791 openwork silver fruit basket, saw cutting technique, Germany  late 19th century

openwork silver salver, saw cutting technique, Dublin 18th century openwork silver pin dish tray, saw cutting technique, Birmingham 1896 openwork silver tray, saw cutting technique on the rim, The Netherlands 1911




openwork silver fish slice, saw cutting technique, London 1819 openwork silver fish slice, saw cutting technique, London 1844 openwork silver fish or cake slice, saw cutting technique, China, late 19th century openwork silver mazarine, saw cutting technique, London 1806 openwork silver tea strainer, saw cutting technique, Birmingham 1900 openwork silver sifter spoon, saw cutting technique, France 19th century



openwork silver sifter spoon, saw cutting technique, London 1829 openwork silver caster, saw cutting technique, London 1896 openwork silver caster, saw cutting technique, London 1709 openwork silver caster, wirework and saw cutting technique, London 1902 openwork silver server slice, saw cutting technique, London 1770 openwork silver asparagus server, saw cutting technique, Tiffany maker


openwork silver warmer, saw cutting technique, Italy 19th century openwork silver warmer, saw cutting technique, Italy 19th century openwork silver thurible, saw cutting technique, Russia 1779 openwork silver incense burner, saw cutting technique, China

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