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Platters & Trays

Since the dawn of the dinner party, platters and trays have been essential. Meeting the functional need for serving cuisine, ceramic platters and trays can also add flair to dining. Whether decorative stoneware or dynamic majolica, ceramic platters and trays dazzle guests with both their beauty and history.

Our use for plates and trays today is the same that necessitated their creation many millennia ago. The earliest humans realized the need for both food service and storage, and so they turned to ceramic wares to meet both needs. In addition to developing lidded vessels for liquid and grain storage, early innovators created elaborate ceramic platters and trays, which were extended plates for larger or communal gatherings.

Over time, both trays and platters experienced an exponential rise in decoration. Early Chinese porcelain pieces featured elaborate motifs and elegant glazes on elongated trays as early as 8th century B.C. These techniques and designs slowly made their way to western Europe, resulting in the highly ornate painted porcelain pieces from companies such as Meissen and Sèvres. Today's field of antique ceramic platters and trays is expansive, with pieces to fit any personality.

Quick Facts

  • The record for the world's largest ceramic plate is currently held by a creation in Beirut, Lebanon. Measuring 23.5 feet in diameter and weighing in at more than 4,000 pounds, the clay plate bears interior steel tube armatures to accommodate its mass
  • The most expensive platter to appear at a Christie's London auction is one in a painting: 17th century Dutch artist Willem Claesz Heda's "A Blackberry Pie on a Pewter Platter" sold in July 2014 for $8,290,360
  • Similar to trays, antique salvers were made of silver and missing handles. Salvers were once customary for the presentation of drinks or correspondence by a waiter or servant

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