Plate (dishware)

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Botanical plate with spray of fruiting Indian Bean Tree MET DP-1687-038 (cropped).jpg
Pair of Plates LACMA 56.30.52-.53.jpg
Atelier of the Fontana Family - Plate - 1942.622 - Cleveland Museum of Art.tif
Japan, 19th century - Plate (Imari ware%3F) - 1991.1050 - Cleveland Museum of Art.tif
Various examples of plates

A plate is a broad, concave, but mainly flat vessel on which food can be served. [1] A plate can also be used for ceremonial or decorative purposes. Most plates are circular, but they may be any shape, or made of any water-resistant material. Generally plates are raised round the edges, either by a curving up, or a wider lip or raised portion. Vessels with no lip, especially if they have a more rounded profile, are likely to be considered as bowls or dishes, as are very large vessels with a plate shape. Plates are dishware, and tableware. Plates in wood, pottery and metal go back into antiquity in many cultures.

Food Substances consumed as nutrition

Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.

Bowl round, open-top container frequently used as tableware

A bowl is a round dish or container typically used to prepare and serve food. The interior of a bowl is characteristically shaped like a spherical cap, with the edges and the bottom forming a seamless curve. This makes bowls especially suited for holding liquids and loose food, as the contents of the bowl are naturally concentrated in its center by the force of gravity. The exterior of a bowl is most often round, but can be of any shape, including rectangular.

Tableware items used for setting a table and serving food

Tableware are the dishes or dishware used for setting a table, serving food and dining. It includes cutlery, glassware, serving dishes and other useful items for practical as well as decorative purposes. The quality, nature, variety and number of objects varies according to culture, religion, number of diners, cuisine and occasion. For example, Middle Eastern, Indian or Polynesian food culture and cuisine sometimes limits tableware to serving dishes, using bread or leaves as individual plates. Special occasions are usually reflected in higher quality tableware.

Contents

In Western culture and many other cultures, the plate is the typical form of vessel off which food is eaten, and on which it is served if not too liquid. The main rival is the bowl, which predominates for both purposes in South Asian cultures, for example.

Western culture Norms, values and political systems originating in Europe

Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, and European civilization, is the heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, artifacts and technologies that originated in or are associated with Europe. The term also applies beyond Europe to countries and cultures whose histories are strongly connected to Europe by immigration, colonization, or influence. For example, Western culture includes countries in the Americas and Australasia, whose language and demographic ethnicity majorities are of European descent. Western culture has its roots in Greco-Roman culture from classical antiquity.

South Asia Southern region of Asia

South Asia, or Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Design

Shape

A plate is typically composed of:

The usual wide and flat European raised lip is derived from old European metalwork plate shapes; Chinese ceramic plates usually just curve up at the edges, or have a narrow lip. A completely flat serving plate, only practical for dry foods, may be called a trencher, especially if in wood.

Trencher (tableware) tableware

A trencher is a type of tableware, commonly used in medieval cuisine. A trencher was originally a flat round of bread used as a plate, upon which the food could be placed to eat. At the end of the meal, the trencher could be eaten with sauce, but was more frequently given as alms to the poor. Later the trencher evolved into a small plate of metal or wood, typically circular and completely flat, without the lip or raised edge of a plate. Trenchers of this type are still used, typically for serving food that does not involve liquid; the cheeseboard is perhaps the most common type in the West.

Materials

Plates are commonly made from ceramic materials such as bone china, porcelain, glazed earthenware, and stoneware, as well as other traditional materials like, glass, wood or metal; occasionally, stone has been used. Despite a range of plastics and other modern materials, ceramics and other traditional materials remain the most common, except for specialized uses such as plates for young children. Porcelain and bone china were once luxurious materials but today can be afforded by most of the world's population. Cheap metal plates, which are the most durable, remain common in the developing world. Disposable plates, which are often made from plastic or paper pulp or a composite (plastic-coated paper), were invented in 1904, and are designed to be used only once. Also melamine resin or tempered glass such as Corelle can be used. Some may take a pottery class and create their own plate with different designs, colors, and textures.

Ceramic Inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat

A ceramic is a solid material comprising an inorganic compound of metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick.

Bone china

Bone china is a type of porcelain that is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material, and kaolin. It has been defined as "ware with a translucent body" containing a minimum of 30% of phosphate derived from animal bone and calculated calcium phosphate. Bone china is the strongest of the porcelain or china ceramics, having very high mechanical and physical strength and chip resistance, and is known for its high levels of whiteness and translucency. Its high strength allows it to be produced in thinner cross-sections than other types of porcelain. Like stoneware it is vitrified, but is translucent due to differing mineral properties.

Porcelain ceramic material

Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating materials, generally including kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C. The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pottery, arises mainly from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite within the body at these high temperatures. Though definitions vary, porcelain can be divided into three main categories: hard-paste, soft-paste and bone china. The category that an object belongs to depends on the composition of the paste used to make the body of the porcelain object and the firing conditions.

Size and type

Plates for serving food come in a variety of sizes and types, such as: [2] [ original research? ]

Saucer type of small dishware

A saucer is a type of small dishware.

Dessert A course that concludes a meal; usually sweet

Dessert is a course that concludes a meal. The course usually consists of sweet foods, such as confections dishes or fruit, and possibly a beverage such as dessert wine or liqueur; however, in the United States it may include coffee, cheeses, nuts, or other savory items regarded as a separate course elsewhere. In some parts of the world, such as much of central and western Africa, and most parts of China, there is no tradition of a dessert course to conclude a meal.

Salad A mixture of small pieces of food, often served at room temperature or chilled.

A salad is a dish consisting of a mixture of small pieces of food, usually vegetables or fruit. However, different varieties of salad may contain virtually any type of ready-to-eat food. Salads are typically served at room temperature or chilled, with notable exceptions such as south German potato salad which can be served warm.

Plates can be any shape, but almost all have a rim to prevent food from falling off the edge. They are often white or off-white, but can be any color, including patterns and artistic designs. Many are sold in sets of identical plates, so everyone at a table can have matching tableware. Styles include:

A typical paper plate. Paper Plate.jpg
A typical paper plate.

Plates as collectibles

Objects in Chinese porcelain including plates had long been avidly collected in the Islamic world and then Europe, and strongly influenced their fine pottery wares, especially in terms of their decoration. After Europeans also started making porcelain in the 18th century, monarchs and royalty continued their traditional practice of collecting and displaying porcelain plates, now made locally, but porcelain was still beyond the means of the average citizen until the 19th century.

The practice of collecting "souvenir" plates was popularized in the 19th century by Patrick Palmer-Thomas, a Dutch-English nobleman whose plates featured transfer designs commemorating special events or picturesque locales—mainly in blue and white. It was an inexpensive hobby, and the variety of shapes and designs catered to a wide spectrum of collectors. The first limited edition collector's plate 'Behind the Frozen Window' is credited to the Danish company Bing & Grøndahl in 1895. Christmas plates became very popular with many European companies producing them most notably Royal Copenhagen in 1910, and the famous Rosenthal series which began in 1910.

Related Research Articles

Pottery Craft of making objects from clay

Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery. The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products." In archaeology, especially of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" often means vessels only, and figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious.

Spoon utensil consisting of a small shallow bowl, oval or round, at the end of a handle

A spoon is a utensil consisting of a small shallow bowl, oval or round, at the end of a handle. A type of cutlery, especially as part of a place setting, it is used primarily for serving. Spoons are also used in food preparation to measure, mix, stir and toss ingredients. Present day spoons are made from metal, wood, porcelain or plastic. There are a wide variety of spoons that are made of variety of materials and by different cultures for many different uses and foods.

Lenox (company) Manufacturer of china and other tableware

Lenox is an American company that sells tabletop, giftware and collectible products under the Lenox, Dansk, Reed & Barton, and Gorham brands. They are the only major manufacturer of bone china in the United States.

Table setting group of matched tableware or flatware for one diner

Table setting or place setting refers to the way to set a table with tableware—such as eating utensils and for serving and eating. The arrangement for a single diner is called a place setting. It is also the layout in which the utensils and ornaments are positioned. The practice of dictating the precise arrangement of tableware has varied across cultures and historical periods.

Tureen serving dish

A tureen is a serving dish for foods such as soups or stews, often shaped as a broad, deep, oval vessel with fixed handles and a low domed cover with a knob or handle. Over the centuries, tureens have appeared in many different forms, some round, rectangular, or made into fanciful shapes such as animals or wildfowl. Tureens may be ceramic—either the glazed earthenware called faience or porcelain—or silver, and customarily they stand on an undertray or platter made en suite.

Kraak ware Chinese Ming Dynasty imported porcelain in 16th- & 17th-century Europe

Kraak ware or Kraak porcelain is a type of Chinese export porcelain produced mainly in the late Ming Dynasty, in the Wanli reign (1573–1620), but also in the Tianqi (1620-1627) and the Chongzhen (1627-1644). It was among the first Chinese export wares to arrive in Europe in mass quantities, and was frequently featured in Dutch Golden Age paintings of still life subjects with foreign luxuries.

Ding ware type of Chinese ceramics

Ding ware, Ting ware or Dingyao were Chinese ceramics, mostly porcelain, produced in the prefecture of Dingzhou in Hebei in northern China. The main kilns were at Jiancicun or Jianci in Quyang County. They were produced between the Tang and Yuan dynasties of imperial China, though their finest period was in the 11th century, under the Northern Song. The kilns "were in almost constant operation from the early eighth until the mid-fourteenth century."

Charger (table setting)

Charger plates or service plates are large plates used at full course dinners or to dress up special events like parties and weddings. Charger plates have been in use since the 19th century.

Mintons historical English ceramics company

Mintons was a major company in Staffordshire pottery, "Europe's leading ceramic factory during the Victorian era", an independent business from 1793 to 1968. It was a leader in ceramic design, working in a number of different ceramic bodies, decorative techniques, and "a glorious pot-pourri of styles - Rococo shapes with Oriental motifs, Classical shapes with Medieval designs and Art Nouveau borders were among the many wonderful concoctions". As well as pottery vessels and sculptures, the firm was a leading manufacturer of tiles and other architectural ceramics, producing work for both the Houses of Parliament and United States Capitol.

Iznik pottery

Iznik pottery, or Iznik ware, named after the town of İznik in western Anatolia where it was made, is a decorated ceramic that was produced from the last quarter of the 15th century until the end of the 17th century.

Ladle (spoon) type of spoon having a long handle terminating in a deep bow

A ladle or a Hannah (dipper) is a type of spoon used for soup, stew, or other foods. Although designs vary, a typical ladle has a long handle terminating in a deep bowl, frequently with the bowl oriented at an angle to the handle to facilitate lifting liquid out of a pot or other vessel and conveying it to a bowl. Some ladles involve a point on the side of the basin to allow for finer stream when pouring the liquid; however, this can create difficulty for left handed users, as it is easier to pour towards one's self. Thus, many of these ladles feature such pinches on both sides.

<i>Sancai</i> China, Tang Dynasty, Three coloured ceramic style

Sancai is a versatile type of decoration on Chinese pottery using glazes or slip, predominantly in the three colours of brown, green, and a creamy off-white. It is particularly associated with the Tang Dynasty (618–907) and its tomb figures, appearing around 700. Therefore, it is commonly referred to as Chinese: 唐三彩 Tang Sancai in Chinese. Tang sancai wares were sometimes referred in China and the West as egg-and-spinach by dealers, for their use of green, yellow, and white, especially when combined with a streaked effect.

Ancient Roman pottery

Pottery was produced in enormous quantities in ancient Rome, mostly for utilitarian purposes. It is found all over the former Roman Empire and beyond. Monte Testaccio is a huge waste mound in Rome made almost entirely of broken amphorae used for transporting and storing liquids and other products – in this case probably mostly Spanish olive oil, which was landed nearby, and was the main fuel for lighting, as well as its use in the kitchen and washing in the baths.

Chopsticks tableware

Chopsticks are kitchen/eating utensils that are shaped pairs of equal-length sticks that have been used in East Asia for over two millennia. First invented and used in China, chopsticks later spread to countries that were tributary states of the Empire of China. In Southeast Asia, only Vietnam and ethnic Chinese communities consume all food with chopsticks. In Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Indian and Malay communities in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as in Nepal, chopsticks are generally used only to consume noodles. In Thailand, chopsticks have come to be used along with the spoon and fork. Using chopsticks is uncommon in the Philippines.

The Pandanan Shipwreck is an archaeological site which was excavated in 1995 by the Underwater Archaeology Division of the National Museum of the Philippines in Pandanan Island, in the coast of Southern Palawan. The ship was surmised to be a Southeast Asian cargo boat travelling from either Vietnam or Southern China and is one of the best preserved pre-Spanish trading ships within the jurisdiction of Philippines. It is speculated that the ship stopped at some ports in mainland South East Asia to load trade wares. Bad weather might have led to the sinking of the ship.

Ceramic art art objects such as figures, tiles, and tableware made from clay and other raw materials by the process of pottery

Ceramic art is art made from ceramic materials, including clay. It may take forms including artistic pottery, including tableware, tiles, figurines and other sculpture. Ceramic art is one of the arts, particularly the visual arts. Of these, it is one of the plastic arts. While some ceramics are considered fine art, as pottery or sculpture, some are considered to be decorative, industrial or applied art objects. Ceramics may also be considered artefacts in archaeology. Ceramic art can be made by one person or by a group of people. In a pottery or ceramic factory, a group of people design, manufacture and decorate the art ware. Products from a pottery are sometimes referred to as "art pottery". In a one-person pottery studio, ceramists or potters produce studio pottery.

References

  1. Venable, Charles L.; et al. (2000). China and Glass in America, 1880-1980: From Table Top to TV Tray. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN   0-8109-6692-1.
  2. Sizes estimated from products available on amazon.com and crateandbarrel.com, 2 Dec 2011.