On special occasions it is traditional to present an item made from a precious metal such as silver; trophy cups and bowls are often given as prizes, large cigar boxes and inkstands are popular retirement gifts. Very often these items bear a unique inscription which can be of special interest and these have become a popular collecting field. A presentation trowel was traditionally given to commemorate laying the foundation stone of a building and this should bear an inscription with the name of the dignitary laying the stone, the building and the date of commencement (or completion) of the project. Special examples can sometimes have an engraved representation of the building, on rare occasions a life size presentation shovel was given to commemorate “the turning of the first sod”. Occasionally an ordinary fish slice, which could be bought from any silver retailer, was used for the presentation rather than commissioning a specially made trowel.

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