The Victorians had a serving piece for almost every imaginable type of food. I love to find unusual pieces, and then research what they were originally used for.
My favorite reference book is Yesterday's Silver For Today's Table. Anytime I am stumped, I check this book and more often than not, I am able to identify the mystery piece.
These are some of the more interesting pieces I have found lately.
Aspic Server or Jelly Server. Aspic, apparently, is clear tasteful jelly that is made from broth, similar to Cranberry Sauce (the jellied type from a can). This little knife is similar to a small cake knife.
Bonbon Spoon - small delicate spoon, used for scooping candy or nuts.
Cake Breaker - looks like a comb with extended tines. The long tines are used to “break” into a delicate cake (such as Angel Food) before the cake is actually sliced and served. This piece is most often used with the cake knife and/or the serving cake fork.
Cake Serving Fork - used to scoop and lift a slice of cake, once it has been cut. Has extended tines that are long enough to fit under the entire slice of cake.
Ice Cream Forks (also known as Sporks) The bowl of the piece is similar to a teaspoon with small tines at the tip.
Chipped Beef Fork - used to serve chipped beef, a smoke-dried beef that has been sliced very thinly. Has tines that flare outward for the piercing and holding of the slice of meat.
Cucumber Server - used for serving slices of cucumber.
Dessert Forks - small three-tine forks used for cakes, pies or other pastries.
Butter Pick - has a spiraled end, used for lifting a pat of butter.
Poultry Shears - scissor-like tool used to cut through the bones of poultry.
Sardine Fork - fork with short, wide tines. Used for serving sardines, anchovies, pickled vegetables, as well as petits fours.
Sharpening Steel - used to sharpen carving knives.
Tomato Server - large round flat bowl is used to lift and serve tomatoes.