Oyster plate

Oyster plate
Contemporary Era, Europe, Alimentarium Collection, AL7258.

This contemporary oyster plate is an example of the highly elaborate tableware that appeared in Europe during the 18th century.

Until the 16th century, the tables of the elite were rarely set with plates but were decorated with edible sculptures or stuffed birds. In the 18th century, with the development of porcelain and the refinement of table manners, different kinds of tableware came into use. Often they were designed specifically for the foods they served: plates shaped like fish, centrepieces ornamented with clusters of grapes, bowls resembling slices of melon.

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