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Antique Trays

As a decorative addition to a living room or a practical serving solution for parties, antique trays have a wide range of uses. Traditionally a butler’s best friend and constant companion, these functional furnishings gradually evolved into ornamental items in their own right. Becoming decorative pieces on which to display treasured trinkets, perfumes and powders, and of course serving afternoon tea.In our collection you’ll discover an antique tray to suit almost every home. A warm, gold-tone antique brass tray will add some glimmer to tea time. An antique tin tray might be the perfect piece for serving cocktails in the garden come summer. Or for those mornings of ultimate indulgence, an antique breakfast-in-bed tray is ideal for cherishing yourself or someone you love.Sourced by over 2,000 sellers worldwide, you’ll find everything from ornate antique silver trays to gorgeous hardwood tray tables, in our characterful collection. Shop below for your one-of-a-kind..

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  • What are antique trays?

    The oldest tray ever found allegedly dates back to around 600-700 BC, making it an incredible two-and-a-half millennium old. Throughout their long history, trays have been the prerogative of the rich and powerful, used to serve food and drinks to wealthy homeowners and guests. The 17th century saw the rise of the ‘salver’, a flat and heavy antique tray traditionally made of silver. As time went on, these salvers became increasingly ornate with engraved designs, moulded edges and decorative handles.
    More practical rectangular trays with lips to prevent spillages did not become popular until the 19th century. Antique trays are generally over a century old and come in a range of designs, depending on the period they date from.
  • Can I buy antique brass trays and antique silver trays?

    Brass and silver were commonly used as tray materials between the 17th and 19th centuries. In line with the trends of the times, Victorian antique silver trays were incredibly intricate, often made of solid metal with filigree detailing on the sides and complex floral designs on the base. These antique-style trays work beautifully when combined with vintage tea sets. Antique brass trays were more common in Middle Eastern and Asian cultures, often boasting wonderfully ornate patterns and carved wood bases. Both silver and brass tarnish so antique metal trays do require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best.
  • Incorporating antique trays into your home

    Antique trays can have a wide range of decorative and practical uses. An Art Deco-style tray would make a great addition to a vintage bar cart while a high-shine silver model would be perfect for displaying a collection of china. Paired with a wooden or metal stand, antique breakfast-in-bed trays can also be used as side tables or as stands for ornaments and potted plants. You could also consider mounting a single or a selection of antique trays to create an interesting feature wall or to decorate a chimney breast. Shop our entire collection of antique trays for sale at Vinterior in our marketplace above.

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