Serving Pieces

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

serving pieces are the objects and tools devised for presenting sweets. Historically, they were treasured—stored separately and not in daily use. Examples include the Limoges enamel valued at the sixteenth-century Valois court, or the Venetian bowls in Henry VIII’s Whitehall Glasshouse. Some pieces were exotic, such as the gilded and lacquered “wicker China” at Salisbury House, London, in 1612. In Renaissance Italy, tin-glazed istoriato dishes painted with classical myths were popular. Dutch and English customers had tin-glazed plates painted with moralizing or mocking rhymes, successors to the earlier trenchers, which were disks of thin beech wood. Painted and gilded with a motto or a biblical text, these delicate mats had a plain side for candied fruit. See candied fruit.