Today’s tea tables nearly all the time characteristic a tiered cake stand that elegantly shows a watch-catching array of mouthwatering sandwiches, scones, and pastries. We maybe assume that these sleek silver and porcelain stands have all the time performed an element on conventional tea tables. And as we lovingly put together every tier and garnish the meals with flowers and fruits, we could ponder how our nice-grandmothers, nice-nice-aunts, and generations of teatime hostesses earlier than them would have organized theirs.
But it’s, in reality, unlikely that Victorian girls who served tea earlier than the 1880s used such stands on their tea tables. The desserts and pastries have been most likely delivered to the desk in silver baskets or on glass or porcelain platters that stood modestly on a pedestal simply above the peak of the opposite dishes. According to researchers in The Goldsmiths’ Company’s library, “Historically, silversmiths would have made ‘cake baskets’ or ‘bread baskets’ for the presentation of scones, muffins, and cakes. In our catalogue, we have sources on silver baskets, but there is nothing for cake stands, nor are cake stands mentioned in dictionaries of silver.”