A little history of a Victorian red tomato server

During the Victorian era, you could find a serving piece for just about anything.  Olive forks? Got it.  Cake servers?  Yep, got that too.  But have you ever run across a red tomato server?

These items are great.  Tomato servers come in two different variations, one for red tomatoes and one for green.  Why in the world would you have a different one for each type of tomatoes?  Its simple really when you think about it.  The red tomato servers have the openings built in for all of the juice from the tomato to drain through the server and not onto your tablecloth.

The server for the green tomatoes does not have the openings for the fact that the green tomatoes are not as messy and don’t need the openings.  You could even use the green tomato server for fried green tomatoes.

Currently in my Etsy shop, there is a red tomato server that was made by the William Rogers Company.  Its made of silverplate and sports the LA FRANCE pattern.  You can see the piece here.

The Victorian era truly did make a ide variety of serving pieces for the table.  What items have you run across while shopping?

What are some odd utensils for the kitchen that you might run across?

It does not take long in the world of antiques and collectibles for you to run across a weird utensil for the kitchen.  Here are some of the oddities that you might run across:

Cake Breaker—this is a multi-pronged metal serving piece that looks like a large comb.  It was primarily marketed as a way to slice a delicate cake without putting any undue pressure on it.  Items like Angel Food Cake are one of the items that you would use this on.

Oyster Server—this has an edge that looks like a circular saw edge.  Items like fried oysters were extremely popular at the turn of the 20th century, and this popularity demanded that this type of food get its own server. The Oyster Server’s jagged flared edge helps to gather small, lightweight food.

Lemon Forks—these tiny forks were usually used for lemons that were served with seafood or tea. The tines are sharp and splayed outwards to grip the tough lemon rind.

Victorian Folding Fruit Knife—in the Victorian era, fruit was considered a luxury because shipping it was very hard if not impossible in some cases. Men carried these fruit pocket knives to display their economic stature.  These have a small blade that is the perfect length to cut fruit.

This is only a few of the odd utensils that you will run across for the kitchen.  What have you run across?

Different forms of carnival glass

Carnival glass originated as a glass called ‘Iridill’, produced beginning in 1908.  This was produced by the Fenton Art Glass Company, and the glass quickly caught on.  The 1920’s was the height of the production of carnival glass, and the decade saw huge volumes of glass being produced.

The prices were low enough that everyone could afford, and one of the nicknames that the glass was dubbed was ‘poor man’s Tiffany’.

The keys to its appeal was that it looked a lot like the more expensive blown iridescent glass by Tiffany and Loetz (and others, really).  When the 1950’s came around the name that it has now came about because Carnival glass was often gave away at carnivals.

Today, carnival glass is a fun area to dive into and start to collect.  There are many different forms that you can find.  One such item is something like this vase by Northwood.

northwood

The vase was made in the 1910’s and sports the FINE RIB pattern.  You can see this wonderful vase in my Etsy shop here.  Another form that was made was a plate, like this one by Fenton.

three-fruits

The plate has the THREE FRUITS pattern on it, and it was made during the height of popularity for carnival glass, the 1920’s.  You can see this plate in my Etsy shop here.

Carnival glass was also incorporated into fashion, one example is this bolo tie.

bolo-tie

The slide of the tie features the WINDMILL pattern, and it was made by the IMPERIAL glass company.  The tie was made in the 1930’s, and it would be a fun addition to any outfit!  You can see this bolo tie in my Etsy shop here.

You can see all of the different types of carnival glass in my Etsy shop here.  How many different forms of carnival glass have you run across?

Ever see a Victorian Red Tomato Server?

At a local flea market, I ran across a box of spoons not too long ago.  When I started looking through them, I found quite a few utensils that really got my interest.  The Victorian Era was pretty interesting when it came to the serving pieces that were made, and one of those serving pieces was in that box I bought.

That piece is a red tomato server and is marked WM ROGERS MFG ORIGINAL ROGERS.  The server has the LA FRANCE pattern and dates to the early 1900’s.

tomato server

Here’s the kicker—there are two different types of tomato servers.  There’s one for red tomatoes and for green.

There’s a big difference to the server, and it’s that the spade on the green tomato server is not perforated. The red tomatoes can be juicy, so the perforations lets the juice drip through.  Green tomatoes are not nearly as messy so you don’t have to worry as much about spilling tomato juice on the table cloth.

spade

A modern twist on this type of server is that you could use the green tomato server to serve fried green tomatoes.  You can see the red tomato server in my Etsy store here.

What kinds of Victorian serving pieces have you run across?