Saturday, April 13, 2013


My interest in toast racks began in 1966 in the antiques department at Marshall Field's department store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.  I saw a silver plated charming thing, and I had to have it.  I hadn't a clue as to its use.  When told that it was a toast rack, I decided that I would use it for mail.  Many years and many trips to England later, I encountered my first transferware toast rack.  The idea of actually using it for toast was remote (for me), but I thought I could use it for business cards or even more mail.  (The British actually use these things for toast).  My original silver plated toast rack is still working hard trying to contain my mail (see the last photo below).

1. English silver plated toast rack/late 19th or early 20th century/look at the last photo to see it filled with mail!

2. English silver plated toast rack

1. Transferware Toast Rack/"Peace" by Robinson, Wood & Brownfield, 1837

2. Transferware Toast Rack/"Peace" pattern, 1837

3. Transferware Toast Rack/"Peace" pattern, 1837

1. Transferware Toast Rack/Sheet pattern, c 1840

2. Transferware Toast Rack/Sheet Pattern, c. 1840

The toast rack as letter holder


  1. I loved your opening line so much I had to share it on FB and Twitter! I like the toast racks too, but that animal printed milk jug? Wow.

    1. Thank you! I am so pleased that you enjoyed my post. I shall write about the big animal jug (8 inches) someday. It is even printed on the bottom and on the inside!

    2. I was just traipsing by again and remembered that the Fields, of the department store where your love affair began, were semi-famous partly because they were anglophiles who bought and resided in some great estate over in England. Maybe Mrs. Fields was responsible for those toast racks...

  2. Cold & Crunchy Toast does have it's merit, foregoing the warmth, and putting on the butter and jam only if and when needed.
    I grew up seeing the Toast Rack on the dining table, almost a part of the cruet!