I’ve got a great collection of cake stands and serving platters that I love to pull out when we have friends over. The delicate engraving and sparkling crystal makes such a nice presentation, I think. Even if I’m just having a few moms over for coffee, setting a few cookies out on one of my pretty platters adds a special something.
I’ve built my collection by haunting antique malls and antique auctions. Estate sales often have beautiful cake stands and serving platters as well, and you never know what gems might turn up at flea markets, swap meets and yard sales. I look for unusual shapes and attractive details, like a sterling silver rim or pretty engraving. Before buying, I examine the piece carefully for flaws. I hold the piece up to the light to check for cracks and chips, then run my fingers lightly around the rim to make sure there aren’t any chips that have escaped my notice. I tend to go for glassware myself, buy I was given a great ceramic deviled eggs plate as a gift once, and I pull that out whenever I have a party. (I actually never used to serve deviled eggs until I got the platter—now I do just so I can show off my cute deviled eggs plate.)
I wouldn’t recommend using valuable glassware for everyday use, since it’s bound to be damaged eventually. Since this is a collection I’ve built to be used, I choose items in good shape, but stay away from rare, valuable platters.
To keep your glassware in good shape it should be hand washed, not put in the dishwasher. Take off any rings or bracelets that could damage the glass, and fill the sink with warm, soapy water. It’s a good idea to line the sink with a towel to prevent the glass knocking against the sink’s hard surface, especially if the glass is valuable. Don’t store your platter upside down, since that could scratch and damage the rim.