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Servers

Changing fashion and the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution brought refinements in dining habits, foods consumed, styles of entertainment and etiquette. Much of majolica was produced for dining purposes and many pieces were designed to serve a specific food item.

The new wealth generated from Britain’s expanding empire enabled an increasing number of households to pay for the luxury of glass houses both for the cultivation of exotic plants and to extend the growing season of foods for home consumption. Prime among these foods were strawberries which could be grown nearly year round. Majolica strawberry servers have a central bowl where berries were placed and separate pots for both heavy cream and brown sugar. Complete sets have both a spoon for serving the berries and a pierced ladle for the sugar. Rarely have the spoons survived.

The expansion of railroads allowed for the efficient transportation of seafood to provincial areas. Large scale platters for service of salmon were produced by both Wedgwood and Joseph Holdcroft. George Jones produced fish tureens with well modeled covers for service of both salmon and mackerel. Among the most impressive are tureens by Minton for service of both crab and lobster.

Asparagus had a limited growing season in Britain, but was exceedingly popular on the continent. Luneville and other French manufacturers excelled in the design of asparagus servers taking the form of both cradles and tureens. Frequently the service included individual plates with sauce wells.

Both Minton and George Jones produced a variety of nut dishes with well modeled squirrels holding acorns. Also by Minton are two separate dishes for serving either candied or roasted chestnuts.

French majolica egg servers are commonly in the form of a bird surrounded by individual cups for placement of poached eggs. English examples were more commonly produced as a basket with handle holding the individual cups.

Other examples are dishes for serving sweetmeats and bon bons, marmalade, toast and a variety of trefoil and quatrefoil dishes which were likely multipurpose.

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