What are Salvers?

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  • Written By: KN
  • Edited By: Marie Grovner
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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Salvers, also referred to as cake stands, are a type of serving dish upon which desserts are displayed. Many salvers rise above the table by way of a pedestal for optimum display, while others are simply low bases that show off the dessert selections.

Salvers can be made of a variety of materials-some are inexpensive disposable dishes to be used once and then discarded, while others are beautifully crafted and intended to be passed down through the family for generations. The finest of salvers are fashioned of materials such as crystal and other types of glass, porcelain, or metals including sterling silver, silver plate, or stainless steel. Cake stands manufactured for one-time use can be made of aluminum, plastic, or even compressed cardboard.

One of the most popular uses for salvers is for the presentation of wedding cakes. Some salvers revolve, while others are stationary. Novelty salvers can include special features such as music boxes.

Food historians make the claim that salvers first became popular in America during the 18th century when hostesses embraced the French style of dining that included multiple food courses. The finale to these lavish meals was always the assortment of desserts that were proudly displayed upon salvers.


Today, there is a resurgence in the interest of collecting antique and rare cake stands. Collectors comb antique stores and collectible sites for unique and quality examples of cake stands. Many of the most desirable salvers are valued in the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

Care should be taken to preserve and extend the life of fine salvers. If your salver is made of glass, china or pottery, wash them periodically with mild soap and water. If your salver is made of metal, choose a non-abrasive cleanser specifically designed for that type of metal.

If you are shopping for a new salver, you can find a wide selection online, at cooking specialty shops, gift shops, or at major retail stores. Salvers make excellent gifts for the people in your life who love to entertain.

While yummy desserts seem to disappear in a flash regardless of what you serve them on, displaying your delectable desserts on salvers will offer a treat to both the eyes-and the palate.


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