Monday, March 9, 2015


"Rural Village" (also known as Village Church) Stilton cheese stand/2.5 inches high by 11.5 inches in diameter. It is circa 1825.

I bought a cake stand that I soon learned was actually a Stilton cheese stand.  I found a reference to Stilton cheese stands in Robert Copeland's Ceramic Bygones;  "Cheese was important to complete a formal meal.  A Stilton cheese could be kept moist in a Stilton cheese pan with a pottery base and cover.  A more common way was to have a flat Stilton cheese stand with a low raised edge; the cheese was kept in good condition beneath a large glass cover.  Unfortunately,  few of these glass covers have survived with the bases."  Copeland goes on to relate how to keep the cheese moist by  cutting off the top and reusing it to cover the cheese.

Willow pattern cheese stand above and Romantic pattern stand below.  Notice how the shape of the Stilton cheese fits the stand.

Although I have never served a large Stilton cheese on my stands, I find them useful to serve cake, cookies, pies, quiche, and much more.  I have also used them (I own three) as cheese trays (assorted small cheeses).

Below are a few  more stands.  (Remember that they would have had glass or pottery domes).

Pountney & Allies (1816-1835) "St.Vincents (sic) Rocks" 2 inches high by 10 inches in diameter Stilton cheese stand in the Bristol Views series

Spode (1770-1833) Castle pattern 1.5 inches high by 10.5 inches in diameter Stilton Cheese stand

I have no glass domes to show you, but my friend, Dora, has supplied me with photos of two of her lovely earthenware cheese domes.

Two earthenware cheese domes/The dome on the left is printed with Davenport's The Villagers pattern, ca. 1825.  I don't know the name of the circa 1850s Romantic pattern on the right.

My own experience is that Stilton cheese stands are about the most useful pieces of old transferware. And, they are also easy to store. 

A Stack of Stilton Cheese Stands (3)


  1. In the UK there is still controversy (and snobbery!) over how to cut & serve Stilton cheese - to scoop or to slice? Then you have to remember the right direction in which to pass the port wine that accompanies the cheese (to the left). If you get it wrong you will never be accepted into polite society again!

  2. I bought a blue willow dish over 30 yeas ago in Baltimore, MD and I assumed it was a cake stand. This is so informative and I need to get mine out to see if it fits the description above. If it does that would be wonderful since I had no idea about a Stilton Cheese Stand - it it doesn't, then I still have my lovely cake stand. Thank you for this information.

    1. I use my stilton cheese stands as cake stands. They are so versatile!

  3. It's amazing! Beautiful and usefull!!!
    I feel like a child descovering a new world. Thanks for the information... (for one more amazing information)

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know you like the post. I keep learning new things too!