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Antique U.S. Silver-Plated Platters & Trays

Beautiful silver-plated trays and platters can be used for a variety of purposes. A wrought tray or platter can be polished to a dazzling shine. Some U.S. silver-plated trays have hinged lids and some have handles for easy serving.

What is a silver-plated tray?

A standard silver-plated tray is a tray made of a base metal that has a coat of pure silver. The base metal is often copper or nickel silver. The silver is placed on the tray through a process called electroplating.

What do you do with silver-plated trays or platters?

Silver-plated trays are used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • For tea, coffee, or dessert service: Some silver trays come with an entire silver service, including tea and coffee pots, sugar bowls, and creamers.
  • For alcoholic beverage service: Few things are more elegant than serving flute glasses of Champagne off of a silver tray.
  • For bedroom items: Trays that are great for bedroom items include silver snuffer trays that hold snuffers to trim the wicks of candles and small trays called salvers that hold pins and small pieces of jewellery.
  • For resting teaspoons: These small silver trays are called spoon trays.
  • For rewards and trophies: Many silver trays or platters are given to the winners of sports tournaments and for birthdays, anniversaries, and other events.
How do you clean silver trays and plates?

The key to cleaning a silver tray or plate is to not clean it too vigorously. A bit of tarnish brings out the engraving on an especially beautiful piece and polishing the metal takes a bit of it away every time. To clean and polish silver, dust the silver tray off if necessary. Choose a polisher especially made for silver. Put on white cotton gloves so that the oils on your fingers don't come in contact with the silver, and then rub just a bit of polisher into the silver with a clean, lint-free cloth. Rinse it with hot water, and then pat the silver tray dry with a clean cloth.

What kinds of silver platters are available?

The different types can be sorted into three general categories.

  • Antique trays: These items are over 100 years old.
  • Covered serving trays: These trays can have hinged covers that resemble seashells.
  • Trays with handles: The handles are often ornately wrought and used for serving. They can be oval, oblong, round, rectangular, or triangular in shape.