Now, This Takes the Cake

By Georgia Otten
Issue # 375 - July 2004

Most people reading the Crystal Ball will fall into the category of collector and already collect Cambridge glass! Many of you who have Cambridge glass also enjoy entertaining in your home. Using your glass can bring great satisfaction. Not only is it a chance to show off premiere pieces, but also, since food is something we all need and want, having it prepared using various recipes and presented in different settings is an absolute delight!

Virginian Salver floral decoration From an article written by Debra Muller Price "Three hundred years after they first appeared on American tables, footed serving plates show no sign of stepping out of the spotlight. In 18th-century America, dining á la française was all the rage, and accomplished hostesses were expected to present their guests with a feast for the eye as well as the palate." The article continued "While dining in America has evolved into a much more casual affair, the practice of placing desserts on salvers - better known today as cake stands - has passed from generation to generation. From the ironstone and pressed-glass stands churned out by Victorian factories to the "Elegant Glass" serving pieces marketed by companies like Fostoria and Heisey during the Depression era, cake stands remain appreciated as much for their graceful form as for their utility." Rather than edit her article, I freely add 'Cambridge' as one of the companies providing "Elegant Glass!"

Starting with a table covering, and perhaps a theme for a meal, is an excellent first step. Is this a sit-down meal or a buffet? Regard-less, now that the table is covered, it is time to select the serving pieces and plan your presentation. Some of you are gardeners also, right? Think about your garden landscape for a minute ... not all plants are the same height are they? Okay, now consider your tablescape; your food, and may I add your decorations as well, will make a wonderful statement if they are presented on different levels. Enter the Cambridge cake salver!

Ever notice how food on a footed server seems so much more enticing; raised above the other foods as if itraised above the other foods as if it had a status all its own? Don't guests at a wedding reception always marvel at the tiered wedding cake? The same can be true at your table.

Cambridge Glass offered a variety of cake salvers beginning in the early 1900's and continued into the 1950's.

I have looked through many sources for Cambridge salvers, the earliest found are from the 1903 Reprint Catalog and the last one from 1956-1958 reprint is the V-134 Cake Salver. In this reprint, the V-134 is also listed as a Floral Center! (See photo above right) The list below represents my findings. I have excluded cake plates that are not, more or less, high-footed such as 3500/39 11" Ftd Cake Plate, No. 170 13" Cake tray and the No. 1031 Ftd cake plate and the Caprice 2-piece cake stand. What I have recorded may not be all-inclusive but is what I was able to find. So as you look at the listing and some of the pictures, think about your next table setting ... food and/or decorations on a Cambridge footed salver. Now doesn't that do more than just take the cake?

Listing of Cambridge Cake Salvers
Compiled by Georgia G. Otten
Item No. Description Reference
17 9" Footed Salver Nearcut Catalog p48
99 Plain Hotel Salvers: NCC Nearcut p76
  9" Salver; height 5 3/4 inches  
  10" Salver; height 6 1/4 inches  
  11" Salver; height 6 3/4 inches  
  12" Salver; height 9 inches  
  14" Salver; height 10 inches  
134 10 1/2 Cake SaIvor (Virginian) 1940 Catalog p51
149 12" Cake Salver (Mt Vernon) 1940 Catalog p33
159 10 1/2" Ftd. Cake, Salver (Mt. Vernon) 1940 Catalog p34A
707 11" Cake Plate 1927-29 Catalog p53
707 9" Salver 1903 Catalog p2
2508 Cake Salvers: 1903 Catalog p24
  8" Salver; height 5 inches  
  10" Salver; height 5 1/2 inches  
  12" Salver; height 5 1/2 inches  
2537 Cake Salvers: 1903 Catalog p32
  9" Salver; height 5 3/4 inches  
  10" Salver; height 6 1/4 inches  
  11" Salver; height 6 3/4 inches  
2577 Salvers: 1903 Catalog p10
  8" Salver  
  10" Salver  
  12" Salver  
2579 Salvers: NCC Nearcut p75
2626 Salvers (Radium): NCC Nearcut p75
  9" Salver; height 4 3/4 inches  
  10" Salver; height 5 1/2 inches  
  12" Salver; height 6 inches  
2630 Salvers (Plymouth): NCC Nearcut p75
  9" Salver; height 5 inches  
  10" Salver; height 5 inches  
  12" Salver; height 5 1/2 inches  
2647 Salvers (Dorothy): NCC Nearcut p75
  8 1/2" Cake Stand  
  10 1/2" Cake stand  
2651 Salver (Feather): NCC Nearcut p65
2660 Salvers (Wheat Sheaf): NCC Nearcut p60
  9" Salver; height 5 inches  
  10" Salver; height 5 1/2 inches  
2693 9" Salver NCC Nearcut p50
2719 10" Salver Nearcut Catalog
2766 Thistle Cake Salver (Various sizes) Nearcut Catalog
2769 Alexis 10" Salver Nearcut Catalog
2808 Salvers 1903 Catalog p24
  10" Salver  
  12" Salver  
2860 9" Salver (Lexington) Nearcut Catalog
2860 9" Salver (4 lines) Nearcut Catalog p48
4070 9 1/4" Cake Salver (Chelsea Ware) (no known reference)