A spoon tray is a tray used to rest the spoons that are either hot, wet, or prepared for serving. The spoon tray, usually elongated,[1] can be found in the tea, dinner, or cabaret services.[2] The spoon tray is sometimes called a spoon boat or a spooner (although some sources reserve the latter term for vessels used for the vertical arrangement of spoons[1]).

Procelain spoon tray
Silver spoon tray

The tray looks similar to the pickle or olive dish, but its edges are frequently flattened.[3] The spoon boat was a typical[4] part of a tea equipage in the first half of the 18th century, possibly due to the habit of drinking tea from the saucer that precluded using it to rest the spoon.[5] Britain was importing novel porcelain "boats for spoons" from China in 1722 that were replacing local silver versions available since 1690s. [6] The tea spoon boats went out of fashion by 1790s.[6] Some spoon trays have slotted areas at their rims, to rest spoons more securely.


  1. ^ a b Ellen Schroy (21 June 2010). "Spooner". Warman's Depression Glass Field Guide: Values and Identification. Penguin. p. 502. ISBN 978-1-4402-1517-9.
  2. ^ George Savage; Harold Newman (1985). "spoon-tray". In John Patrick Cushion (ed.). An Illustrated Dictionary of Ceramics: Defining 3,054 Terms Relating to Wares, Materials, Processes, Styles, Patterns, and Shapes from Antiquity to the Present Day. Thames and Hudson. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-500-27380-7. OCLC 12938517.
  3. ^ Bill Boggess; Louise Boggess (1977). American Brilliant Cut Glass. Crown Publishers. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-517-52525-8. OCLC 1008392050.
  4. ^ Jamieson, Ross W. (2001). "The Essence of Commodification: Caffeine Dependencies in the Early Modern World". Journal of Social History. 35 (2): 269–294.
  5. ^ Beth Carver Wees (1997). English, Irish, & Scottish Silver at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Hudson Hills. pp. 474–475. ISBN 978-1-55595-117-7. OCLC 1008389531.
  6. ^ a b Catherine Beth Lippert (1987). Eighteenth-century English Porcelain in the Collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Indianapolis Museum of Art. Indiana University Press. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-936260-11-2. OCLC 1008105969.