Cake and Confectionery Stands

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

cake and confectionery stands for the presentation of these items on the sideboard, dining table, or in a retail environment usually take the form of a circular dish elevated above the surface of the table or display case by a flaring central foot. The form is essentially that of a tazza, a versatile stem vessel with a shallow bowl that functioned from ancient times as a drinking cup, food dish, and display piece. Examples in delicate glass and precious metal, holding biscuits and sweets, may be found in Dutch still-life paintings and Italian frescoes. Another form of confectionery stand is the pyramidal étagère, composed of circular glass, metal, or porcelain dishes of diminishing diameter fixed by a central rod emanating in a handle. Commonly employed for English high tea, étagères were, and still are, made by every porcelain manufacturer in Europe, even if the market for them is not obvious.