Antique Oyster Plates

Oyster plates were popular from the 1880s. Each course at dinner was served in a special meal. The oyster plate had actually indentations shaped like oysters. Normally six oysters were held on a plate. There is no higher worth to a plate with more oysters, although that myth continues to haunt antiques dealers. There are other plates for shellfish, including cockle plates and whelk plates. The properly shaped imprints belong to the design of these meals. Oyster plates were made by numerous business and are popular with today’s collectors.

Oyster Plates are a collectors’ dream – the designs, shapes, colors, and distinct patterns differ extensively and brand-new discoveries are always waiting. Each one has a history behind it and its maker. At Moss Antiques, we include a wide range.

The Victorian age saw an increase in the interest in oyster intake and oyster plate production. Through the 19th Century, oysters seemed to be offered all over– in restaurants, on street corners, at oyster celebrations, etc. While oysters were first a working male’s staple, gradually presidents, kings, and the social elite enjoyed oysters and bought china tableware sets including organically-shaped oyster plates.

Oyster plateOysters were collected in shallow water and collected out of their beds utilizing hand rakes and tongs. Oyster farming provided jobs to numerous working class individuals but as the oyster beds were tired, the bi-valves transitioned from being a traditional food items for the working man to an expensive delicacy for the rich.


Oysters were served on the half shell over ice as well as without ice. Some consumed oysters straight from the shell and others used the shell to host oyster-based recipes like oysters Rockefeller. Porcelain china or hand painted plates that left room for the oyster’s shell were frequently scratched or damaged by the uncommonly shaped and coarse shell. A lot of collectible oyster plates were hand painted on porcelain and only provided sufficient room for the shucked oyster and did not leave space for the uncomfortable oyster shell.

These specific methods to serve oysters impacted the way oyster plates were formed, styled, molded, and developed. Oyster plateThe number of depressions or the depth of the oyster-shaped wells in an oyster plate currently effect worth and desirability with antique oyster plate collectors. There are kidney shaped oyster plates and oyster plates with a circle of depressions to hold 5 to 7 oysters with a round cocktail sauce well at the plate’s.

Due to the fact that of the oyster’s well recorded history as an aphrodisiac, Oyster plates were likewise popular wedding antiques and antiques. Hence, oyster plates were frequently the present of option for bride-to-bes, at bridal showers, and to mark anniversaries.

Some of the most popular styles of oyster plates were those designs that were copied and sold to the general public. When President Rutherford B. Hayes commissioned a set of dinnerware to be produced throughout his administration, circa 1877-1881, the popular design of the set’s oyster plates were copied and offered on the industrial market. Unlike cockle or whelk plates, the Victorian oyster plate enjoyed a revival in the early 2000s thanks to tv chef, Paula Deen who featured her collection of oyster plates along with her local Southern dishes for oysters.

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