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Cake Stands Are Sweet for Spring

Springtime just naturally makes me think of cake stands! With Mother’s Day, graduations, confirmations, First Communions, birthdays and anniversaries, a beautiful vintage cake stand or two comes in handy.

Vintage and antique enthusiasts have long appreciated the presentation appeal of a fancy cake on a lovely glass stand. My own personal favorite is an Imperial Glass creamy blue pedestal cake stand, passed down from my mother. The Bellaire, Ohio glass manufacturer is famous for its milk glass and this one is done in a lovely shade of robin egg blue. It serves cakes with class.

Another wonderful example of Imperial cake stands is the Candlewick glass variety, one of Imperial’s calling cards and made from 1939-1981. I’ve seen these at local antiques shops but do be careful when shopping for Candlewick since other glass houses made similar clear glass with the bubble look and you need to know your glass or shop with reliable dealers.

The ever-respected crystal manufacturer, Waterford of Ireland, has a variety of first-class cake stands and plates available on the retail market too that are perfect for a connoisseur of cake stands. New ones often feature stainless steel cake knives and servers to go along with the plate.

These can be quite expensive. Limited edition Waterford cake plates, like the 12 Days of Christmas version, sell for thousands of dollars when in great condition (with knife).

Old cake stands typically are found without covers or domes, though the clear glass stands are often sold with domes and perhaps were used in bakeries. Vintage cake stands can be found in milk glass, depression glass, crystal, metal and jadeite.

Antique shops and resale spots usually have cake stands, so these treasures are easy to find. Yard sales are starting now too, and are a perfect place to shop for vintage everything. Which reminds me, I want to mention to my readers of the upcoming North Wheeling Spring Sidewalk Sale, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 21, that takes place along Main Street in the historic home district. (My grandsons will have a cookie and lemonade stand open for your delight, too.)

I also checked online while writing this column and there were 6,700 vintage cake stands listed on eBay! Many old versions of cake plates were originally designed with small serving plates and other accessories, if these are intact, it increases the value naturally.

Antique glass versions of cake stands often date to the depression era and include many variations in different colored glass by well-known vintage names.

Some feature a metal pedestal, others an apron edge that hangs down. Cake plates come in different shapes too, usually round or square, with round being most common.

Additional features might be a decorative base with a design like a pineapple or a ruffled edge that is very pretty. Our own Central Glass of Wheeling made many beautiful colored glass cake plates with pedestals in its most popular patterns like Pressed Diamonds and Buttons and Bows.

Cake stands are collected by enthusiastic fans of glass, who enjoy the beauty of elegant tableware. Victorian glassware was so plentiful and featured a different dish for every food type from celery to oysters so 19th century glassware can be a very rewarding collectible to seek and display.

Pretty pedestal cake plates make impressive wedding, anniversary or housewarming gifts too, so consider buying vintage for a gift giving duty, since antiques carry with them the distinction of being less common than department store varieties.

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