Little bowls and dishes are fun to collect and they don’t take up a lot of room. A single cupboard or cabinet can hold an astonishing array of these little dishes.
One very attractive and extremely popular collectible in this group are “Butter Pats” which are tiny saucers made expressly for holding a pat of butter, or perhaps two pats, if one is lucky.
I don’t collect them but have had a few that came with other items. Some I have given away to people who do collect them and have impressive collections. They can still be found and at fairly reasonable prices. Because of their size, they have survived better than larger china pieces.
Here is a photo of two, both intended for restaurant use.
Here they are shown with a ruler so it is easy to see how tiny they are.
Other little bowls and dishes: Bauer, Coors, Vernon Kilns, Catalina and Metlox, Also Shenango, Syracuse, . Pyrex, Fire-King, Federal and Fry glass.
Little Glass Mise en Place dishes, etc.
Here are some photos of little dishes used only for mise en place, allthough some are oven proof (none mention use in microwave) and could be used for custards and similar baked dishes. As I have plenty of baking dishes (newer AND microwaveable) I don’t use these for that purpose.
For some unfathomable reason, these little guys seem to migrate, either on their own or with “help” and I have found odd ones in extremely unusual places. One lived under my old computer (MacG4) for years until I moved it and discovered the little dish, somewhat dusty but otherwise okay. Another was discovered in my toolbox and I can only surmise that at one time I needed it to hold small screws or something similar and it was handy. (I hate looking on the floor for little things, I can’t kneel because of arthritic knees and have a bad back so bending is uncomfortable.)
I also found one in the garden, partially buried in the pot that has a sage plant that has been undisturbed for several years.
A very few have, I think, gone home with visitors but surely this was not intentional. After a gathering for food and talk, the clean up and departure can get pretty hectic. Two of my closest neighbors have from time to time returned items that were bundled in with their things by mistake.
In any event, these are very handy when preparing for a baking marathon, as for holiday cookies and etc.
My routine has long been to measure out all the dry ingredients for several batches at a time, using a tray for each recipe so as to avoid mixing them up.
I measure the flour for each recipe into a large zip-type bag but all the other ingredients into these little dishes: The sugar into a larger one and the other ingredients into the smaller ones and then I double check that I have actually measured out EVERY ingredient on the list before I place them in plastic bags, combining the spices and other items that are added together.
All the bags for each recipe then go into a larger bag, along with the printed recipe. Then all the bags with the recipes and ingredients are placed in a shallow tub and stored in the pantry until I am ready to mix them.
All I need to do then is gather the perishable ingredients, measure them and mix.
It is the gathering and measuring of the dry ingredients that takes the most time for almost every recipe of baked goods. I think this method works almost as well as opening a prepared package mix and this way you know exactly what has gone into your cookies, quick breads or cakes.
There are no “mysterious” ingredients with unpronounceable names included and you have the bragging rights to say “they are all baked from scratch!”
In any event, that is the reason I have all these little glass, metal, plastic and silicone dishes. You don’t need as many as me, I am, as I have said before, a collector and can’t seem to limit my purchases to just one or two.
The smallest ribbed glass dishes are used for offering the various salts from my “collection.” That’s why I have more of them than any other dishes.
These little silicone “pinch” cups are handy because they can be squeezed so they essentially have a “spout” which makes pouring more precise.
The shallow metal dishes are ideal for whole spices that are larger than seeds and the metal cups work well for small amounts of liquids, including melted butter, etc.
Fire-King Oven Ware 16 ounce baker.
A little Fire-King custard cup from the late 1950s.
A pretty little shallow dish from England. At one time I had several pieces of this pattern but now have only this little dish and a platter.
This little “dish” lives in the cupboard with the other little dishes but it is actually an egg separator. It belonged to my grandmother but I have no idea how old it is.
These are not technically “dishes” but are small tumblers made of English Ironstone.
This little Christmas dish was made in Western Germany.
This plain little dish or cup looks quite plain on the surface but has a “surprise” on the bottom.
I know a lady who has thousands of egg cups; plain ones, fancy ones, figural ones shaped like things you would never expect. I can understand an egg cup shaped like a hen, or even a bunny – you know, the Easter one – but I can’t fathom why someone would want an egg cup shaped like a garden gnome, or a penguin, or a rocket ship. I have a few egg cups but they are strictly utilitarian and several came with little appliances for cooking eggs.
Egg cups are small enough that one can amass and display a respectable collection in a single cabinet. If you go overboard like the lady I mentioned above, you can have lots of little cabinets hung on the wall to display the various types in their own cabinets.
Mine are not displayed, they live in a cupboard where, hopefully, they won’t get too dusty.
I think Martha Steward has a collection of egg cups. I recall on one of her shows, several years ago, seeing rows of egg cups and custard cups lined up on “eggcrate” shelves in a window. It’s possible my memory is faulty, but I am fairly sure I did see them. Since then she has a different home and possibly did not include them in her current decor.
Most of mine are packed away so it will be a little while before I can take photos.
Little glass custard or “jelly” cups.
This one, with it’s Bee and Crown back stamp has ridges on the inside that forms a design when the jelly is unmolded.
Little Pitchers – Cream Pitchers, Syrup Pitchers and etc.
Lots of cute little pitchers, some intended for restaurants, some for home use. The materials from which they are made can range from stoneware and pottery to glass and fine crystal.
I have a small collection which I started some twenty years ago. I actively collected for a few years then sort of lost interest as I was running out of ways to display them. Some are very common, easy to find, some are somewhat scarce but can be found with a bit of effort.
They are fun to collect, most can be hung just like mugs and they are popular with people who do collect mugs and cups.
First is an overview of a tray full.
And now some close up photos of a few at a time.
Hall China produced a large range of restaurant ware in many colors. These, with the “old” round backstamp are very popular with collectors.
These range from simple pressed glass to fancy “cut” glass and everything in between.
On the left a Bauer “Plainware” cream pitcher. On the right an El Patio cream pitcher with the “F” in a square backstamp for Gladding, McBean’s “Franciscan” label used only in 1938 and 1939, so this piece was easy to date.
And now, something I collected along with a couple of cream pitchers:
Produced in 1954 (two years after he was deposed) it is labeled, “King Farouk On A Bar Stool.
I thought it was rather humorous.