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    

Vintage Fenton Glass Milk Glass Teardrop Cake StandEapg Blue Cake Plate Stand Tall Pedestal Beautiful WeddingVintage Hall China Autumn Leaf Cake Stand Metal BaseFenton Turquoise Aqua Blue Hobnail Cake Stand Ruffled Edge French OpalescentPrincess House Crystal "heritage" Pattern Dome Cake Stand LidMilk Glass Opaque Hobnail Ruffled Edge White Pedestal Cake StandEapg Blue Victorian Art Glass Wildflower 8 1/2" Cake StandVintage B & G Bing & Grondahl Seagull Porcelain Pedestal Cake Or Compote #64~l4!White Milk Glass Ruffled Edge Pedestal Cake Plate Iridescent Platter Blue Edge Vintage Fostoria Square American Glass Pedestal Cake Plate With WellVintage Glass Pedestal Cake Stand With Star In Center & Glass Dome LidPrincess House Pedestal Cake Plate With Lid Heritage BeautifulEapg Pattern Glass Crystal Wedding Square Cake Plate On PedestalSuperb 11 1/4" Fenton Glass Silver Crest Spanish Lace Pedestal Cake Plate Exclnt Stellar! Elegant Vintage Crystal Glass Frosted Roses 12" Cake Stand CenterpieceHammersley Bone China Flower Cake Stand Plate Vintage Imperial Candlewick Three Ball Pedestal Cake PlateLenox Pedestal Footed Cake Plate Winter Greetings Pattern Depicting CardinalsSouthern Living At Home Gallery White Pedestal Footed Cake Plate Stand - 11"Pink Depression Glass Pedestal Cake Stand Plate 9 7/8" Torte PlateVintage Glass Cake Plate 13 3/4" Glass Platter With Pedestal Estate FindDuncan Miller Sandwich Crystal 13.25" Pedestal Cake Stand MintPerfect Waterford Irish Crystal Lismore Footed 11" Cake Plate 13" Large Stamped Bordallo Pinheiro Green Geranium Leaf Pedestal Cake StandVilleroy & Boch Christmas Cake Dish Pedestal French Noel Hard To Find Fenton Milk Glass Cactus Low Footed Cake PlateAmazing Sorelle Yellow Daisy Or Sunflower Pedestal Cake Plate + Lady BugHocking Cameo Ballerina Green Depression Glass Footed 10" Cake Plate Stand Vintage Fostoria Colony 12" Round Clear Glass Cake Platter Fostoria American Crystal 10" Square Pedestal Footed Cake Stand Or SalverLenox Footed Cake Plate 11"diameter Gold Band Glazed Finish Porcelain HollyberrySyracuse China Old Ivory ~ Rose Marie ~ Round Platter & Handled Cake PlateWedgwood Jasperware Sage Green Cake StandVintage Depression Era 10" Footed Cake Plate Cherry Embossed Scalloped Edge Lovely Vintage Royal Winton Pottery Cake Stand9 Piece Glass Cake Set 13" Platter, 8 - 7" Dessert PlatesCake Platter W/ Dome - Glass And Corked Jars