The first Antique Silver Trays were oval shaped and did not appear until the late 18th century. The rectangular form was not generally seen until the early 1800’s. Some early salvers were originally called trays however this term is only used now when there are side carrying handles. Large trays are often called tea trays and were often made as part of an extensive and fully matching tea service. Long slender trays are popular for use as drinks trays. Extra large trays are particularly prized by interior designer for use as a coffee or side table.
Antique Silver Salvers. From the 17th century until the reign of George I salvers were raised on a pedestal foot. This form is often called a “tazza”. By 1700 some were made with the foot unscrewing. Very occasionally this type will also have 3 or 4 feet so that the salver can be used on a lower level. The traditional form of salver with plain flat surfaces and small feet at the edge, rarely found before the reign of George I, was made in various forms such as round, rectangular, oval and octagonal and these are an ideal starting off point for collectors of early silver. The term “waiter” is not commonly used but relates to small examples less than 6 or 7 inches; these have become very popular now to stand a bottle or wine glass.
Antique Silver Dinner Plates and Meat Dishes. Dinner plates were usually made in dozens and larger quantities and often came as part of a suite of dishes including soup plates, oval serving plates and mazerines. These dishes very often came from grand houses and have finely executed coats of arms.
Chargers and Sideboard Dishes make an impressive show. They can be used as large serving dishes although some examples, with ornamental borders and centre panels, were probably just purely decorative.