A cake stand or pedestal is a decorative plate mounted on a stem or foot to display baked goods. These stands were originally known as salvers, named after the wide silver platters used for serving food or drinks, which prevented spillage from falling to the floor.

Some of the earliest glass salvers were mentioned in British records around 1620. Typically, these pedestals were made with a molded glass stem, and often appear in paintings from the 17th century topped with a group of wine glasses. By the mid-18th century, such servers were more commonly used for displaying desserts, sometimes stacked in successively smaller sizes to create dramatic dessert pyramids and topped with a compote holding fruit.

In the United States, the first glass salvers were produced in Philadelphia around 1770. Dessert stands were increasingly made from pressed glass rather than hand-blown, reaching their height in the late 19th century. During the boom-time for EAPG production, glass salvers were made by manufacturers like Adams & Co.; United States Glass Co.; Dalzell, Gilmore & Leighton; and McKee Bros. Though cheaper to produce, pattern glass still emulated the tastes of wealthy households, as with the O’Hara Glass Company’s “Crown Jewel” from 1888, whose base was meant to resemble the hanging crystals of a chandelier.

Cake servers from this era were sold in sizes ranging from a few inches in diameter to nearly two feet, and made in vivid colors like emerald green, canary yellow, amethyst, and sapphire. Pedestals also appeared in trendy materials like milk glass, jasperware, and jadeite.

On the most spectacular cake stands, like those made by the George Duncan & Sons, the glass feet were sculpted into decorative forms including a woman’s face, a raised hand, or a horseshoe. More restrained designs, like the New England Glass Company’s “Diamond Point” salver, were part of larger glassware sets that included matching plates, bowls, tumblers, candlesticks, and more.

Around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, major American manufacturers like Fostoria made salvers to match their full lines, cut into patterns with evocative names like Diana, Louise, and Virginia. In the mid-20th century, companies like Pyrex and Fiesta streamlined and simplified their cake stands to match modernist trends, even as the use of these items was falling out of style.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Feeding America

Feeding America

This archive of 76 influential American cookbooks from the late 1700s to early 1900s, assembled by the Michigan St… [read review or visit site]

Tupper Diva

Tupper Diva

Kristian McManus’ fresh, airtight collection of Tupperware catalogs and related ephemera from the 1950s and 6… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Estate- Vintage Fenton Opaque White Milk Glass Cake Stand 12.5" Hobnail PatternGorgeous Vintage Fenton Silver Crest Large Cake StandVintage Fenton Milk Glass Hobnail Pedestal Cake Stand Plate 12 1/2" X 5 1/2"Gorgeous Vintage Le Smith Vaseline (uranium) Button And Daisy Cake Stand Heisey Colonial Scalloped Top 9" Footed Salver/pedestal Cake Stand No 400 Vgc NrWestmoreland Milk Glass Ring & Petal Square Pedestal Cake PlateFenton White Milk Glass (wmg) Hobnail: Footed Cake Plate Stand: Exc: NrIndiana Glass Ruby Flashed Kings Crown Small Salvor Cake StandFostoria Glass Pedestal 10" Square Cake Plate Stand Rum Well - Exc. Condtn!Waterford Crystal Lismore Footed Pedestal Cake Plate Stand Mint!Silver Cake StandFostoria American Pattern Round Crystal Cake Plate /stand Pedestal Rum WellBlue Willow Gaudy Cake StandOtis And Pearl Blue Glass Cake StandDoll House Miniature Fancy White & Pink Cake On Silver Platter Fostoria Coin Glass Emerald Green Pedestal Cake Stand - Excellent - RareVintage White Milk Glass Lattice Cake Stand Plate And Matching Candlesticks!Turquoise Depression Glass Cake StandVintage Royal Blue Glass Pedestal Cake Plate Cup Cake Lace Edge Jeannette Glass Shell Pink Milk Glass Cake Stand Harp/anniversary Pattern Pastry Stand And 6 Cupcake Stands Set Pine Wood Slice Deserts Cake HoldersBlue And White Porcelain Cake Stand From Cracker BarrellWilton Candlelight Cake StandGail Pittman Novak Pattern Footed Cake Plate Signed & Dated Rare RetiredAntique Eapg Clear Glass Cake Stand Wedding Estate Find Royal Albert Old Country Roses Bone China Cake Platter, Dated 1999, ExcellentSweet Alice Designs - Roses Collection - Cake/dessert Stand Wilton 17" Scrollwork Cake Stand With Box~very Nice!Metal Crown Cupcake Stand Handle Tower Wedding Party Cake Display Fitting HolderSouthern Living At Home Jackson Cake Stand With Glass Plate-excellent ConditionVintage Art Deco Coronet Ware King Fisher Cake Stand - Parrot & Co. Burslem GoodVintage Lace Edged Large Milk Glass Pedestal Cake StandMikasa Crystal Tempting Pedestal Cake Stand / Plate Vintage Eapg Early Pressed Glass Pedestal Scalloped Rim Pastry Cake Stand! NrLead Crystal Hand Cut Frosted Pear Pattern 3 Footed 12" Cake PlateQuimper Faience Hb Henriot Mistral-blue Cake Plate Platter Man FranceDoll House Miniature Birthday Cake On Gold Pedestal Bareuther Waldsassen Bavaria Echt Cobalt 22k Gold Trim Cake Pedestal / RiserAntique Coalport England Cake Stand Indian Tree Pattern RareRoyal Limited Crystal 24% Full Lead Crystal Pedestal Rose Cake Plate Vgc Czech Vintage Anchor Hocking White Milk Glass Embossed Grapes Pattern Cake StandWestmoreland 8.5" H Ruby Or Red Cranberry Glass Wedding Cake Pedestal CompoteFooted Cake Plate Walther Glass Mikasa Rose Satin Large 11.5"Fire King Ivory Pedestal Cake Plate Stand -scalloped EdgeChina Cake Plate On Stand Floral PrintDolls House Food : Glass Cake Stand Of Chocolate Whips -by FranJust Dessert Cake Stand Plus 3 Matching Sherbet Dishes Made In Japan Himark1p Diy Sugarcraft Rose Flower Icing Cream Stand Nail Cake Cupcake Decor Tool Hot