Nothing adds charm to a tea party like a vintage cake stand. Made from vintage china plates and new fittings, these tiered stands are the perfect way to display and present teatime treats. Shopping for a vintage cake stand involves understanding the difference between vintage and vintage-style stands, evaluating the condition of vintage china, considering different sizes and options, and learning about alternative models of vintage cake stands for weddings.
Vintage vs. Vintage-Style
The term "vintage cake stand" refers most often to china plates made before 1980 that have undergone slight modification with modern fittings to create a vintage china cake stand for pastries and cupcakes. Vintage-style stands also have a legitimate place in the market, and these have the same basic style, are made with modern plates and fittings, but with a "retro" or vintage look. Understandably more affordable, the latter are a good option for those who just want to display many pastries without covering a table top with plates. True vintage cake stands are a better choice for those who want to throw authentic tea parties, complete with fine china and tea.
Vintage China Condition
The condition of vintage china may range from mint to poor, like other vintage items. The china used for cake stands should be in good to mint condition. This means the plates have no cracks, chips, or stains. However, they may show some signs of wear, like faded gold gilding or small scratches from silverware. For formal events, it may be worth it to make sure the plates have no signs of wear and tear at all. Of course, expect to pay more for vintage china in excellent or mint condition.
Cake Stand Tiers and Options
Vintage cake stands come in both two and three-tiered designs. Stands with the same plates are generally more expensive than those assembled with different plate sets. Matched plate cake stands are more formal, while a mismatched set has an eclectic "shabby chic" feel that people might enjoy for casual tea parties. The sizes of the plates also vary, although the tiers generally decrease in size from the bottom up. Designs might also include whimsical details like a teacup on the top tier. If vintage china is too delicate, vintage metal filigree stands and vintage silver cake stands also exist in similar designs.
Vintage Wedding Cake Stands
Wedding cake stands are a little different from the vintage cake stands that have a fitting that runs through the middle of each plate. Vintage wedding cake stands have a single elevated platform and often have a glass or crystal base. Many also include a domed covering. Covered cake stands are useful for outdoor events. Like vintage china stands, these pieces are also at least 30 years old.