Oyster plates owe their existence to the Victorian's passion for intricate detail. Who else would invent a serving utensil to be used exclusively for sardines? (And collapse into the vapors if it were used for something else.) Oysters were a wildly popular delicacy in the 1800's, so of course they HAD to have a special plate for them.
Oysters could be served in or out of the shell. Served out of the shell, they proved to be a bit slippery and, if kept in their original packaging, the rough shells played havoc with delicate china. Some clever designer came to the rescue by producing a plate with oyster shaped indentations. Out went the shells and the critters were corralled.
The most common oyster plate design comes with 6 evenly spaced wells. The five well design runs a close second with various patterns of placement. Though not as common, plates can be found that accommodate other number of oysters. These plates were produced by many companies in America and Europe from the 1880's to the 1920's. Like any other popular product they would be found in low, medium, and high priced categories.
After WWI the popularity of oyster plates diminished. The main reason was that the oyster beds had been seriously over harvested, making them harder to get. Then too, the newer generation was a little more relaxed in their concept of propriety. They probably got tired of keeping track of all those individual serving pieces.
Oyster plates are available, but not overly plentiful, so collecting them can be a little bit of a challenge. Price range from thousands to less than $50. It is recommended that they be displayed on plate stands, as opposed to hanging with plate hangers, which can chip curved edges.
Meet our Dealers
Linda Moore took an indirect route to becoming a dealer. Her husband, Will, has had a lifelong passion for coins, buying and selling them throughout his career as a builder. Ten years ago he retired and went into dealing coins full time.
Some of the coin shows that Linda and Will attended had other vintage merchandise. Having become an empty nester with her daughter's marriage gave her more time to pursue an outside hobby. Jewelry became the focus of this blossoming interest. The reason being that Will had set up his coin enterprise in a jewelry shop and began buying jewelry in lots from individuals and estates.
After a while a burgeoning inventory necessitated action and Linda became a very successful Etsy dealer under the name of Picker Girl. A natural outgrowth of this was to become a mall dealer. Linda has been here at Mossy Oaks for about five years and has developed clientele that come in just to browse through her showcase.
Antiques and Collectibles
Visit us at
Mossy Oaks Antique Mall
6260 SE 118th Place
Belleview, Fl 34420
Edward Scott Appraisals now offers Certified Appraisals for Antique, Classic, Vintage and Collectible Automobiles, Trucks, Golf Carts, Water-Craft, Aircraft, RV's and Mobile Homes.