Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Kitchen Kollectibles: Pancake Server Turns Heads

June 11th, 2009 · 12 Comments

Editor’s note:  My good friend Scott Simmons, former TGIF editor at The Palm Beach Post and fellow Floridian, shares my passion for vintage dishes, cookware and other old kitchen items. I welcome his new column about items he finds in his antique and thrift store rounds. Have questions about your own china and antiques? Contact him at the address below, and your item might find its way into this column.



Domed Limoges pancake server

Victorian whimsy and practicality in one

By Scott Simmons, columnist

Times were tough in olden days – even for rich folks.
Homes were drafty, water supplies were sketchy – and sanitation? Well, forget about it – even Queen Victoria was not amused that a toilet drained onto the roof outside her Buckingham Palace dressing room.
The risk of fire from wood stoves was great. One spark, and the house was gone.

Foods had to travel


Scott Simmons

To reduce that risk, the kitchens of homes large and small often were in separate buildings, which meant food had to be carried great distances from hearth to table.
Cooks used covered tureens, spoon warmers and such items as this domed pancake server to keep the food warm.
The cover of this porcelain server kept the cold air out, and the perforations in the dome allowed the steam to vent, so the pancakes didn’t become soggy.
This server, marked GDA Limoges – for Gerard, DuFraiss & Abot – was made around the turn of the 20th century.
It’s a practical piece, but its design is pure Victorian whimsy. The roses are trimmed in gold, and the gilded ribbon handle may remind you of the bows Haviland – another great porcelain house from the French city of Limoges – used on its wares. It’s about 9 -1/4 inches in diameter.
I flipped at the price – $35 – and bought. A simliar piece would cost $75 or more, making mine a bargain, any way you stack it.


Scott Simmons is a South Florida writer whose passion is antique china and glassware. He has written about collectibles for more than 10 years as The Palm Beach Post’s “Look What We Found” columnist. His Kitchen Kollectibles column highlights food and dining ephemera. Write him at scott.simmons.writer@gmail.com.

Tags: Kitchen Kollectibles: Scott Simmons on vintage items

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Beverly Mills // Jun 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    This looks great! I’m really into vintage table linens, and I’d love to see a blog/info on how to find them and how to best care for them and what’s reasonable to pay! Thanks.

  • 2 cookware // Jun 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    That’s a nice dish!

  • 3 Scott Simmons // Jun 12, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks! I hope to write about some fun linens in the near future and will include info on care and value.

  • 4 Loretta Grantham // Jun 13, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    I’m impressed that you knew it was a pancake server. (I’d have wondered what the holes in the lid were for.) VERY cool. The pattern is similar to an ivory Epiag serving dish (with lid) that I found at an antique shop in Wisconsin. I’ve been trying to find matching pieces ever since. (The pattern is common in white, more rare in ivory.) I look forward to following your column! LG

  • 5 Bev Snow // Jun 14, 2009 at 12:44 am

    I would hae been staring at those vent holes in the cover for weeks, thinking perhaps the piece was a china steamer. You’re a goldmine Scott~

  • 6 Lila // Jun 14, 2009 at 12:53 am

    This article about your Limoges pancake server caused me to pick up my Limoges bowl just to look at it.

    It was given to me 35 years ago by a neighbor, who was from Czechoslovakia originally. She was over 80 years old at the time, and had brought the piece with her when she came to the U.S. She gave me several beautiful pieces, but this bowl is my favorite.

    I have to admit that I know very little about vintage dishes, but your article reminded me that I had this really special (to me) bowl on my shelf. It is a three-footed, all white, scalloped edge ‘fruit bowl’, with little legs that look like leaves with stems…. really pretty… yours and mine!

  • 7 Scott Simmons // Jun 14, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    The guessing and wondering are what it’s all about. And when you find an answer — wow! — that’s a Eureka! moment.

    That also is part of collecting. It triggers a memory for a place, for people, for food. Amazing how it works.

    It’s brought us all together in this forum.

    How wonderful to hear from friends old and new.

  • 8 kathy // Sep 1, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I got mine at Crate and Barrel last year. Website says it’s discontinued, but I usually see them reappear there in the spring. Not as pretty as yours, but I love having it.

  • 9 kathy // Sep 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Sorry, meant to include the link for this for Crate and Barrel:


  • 10 kathy // Sep 1, 2010 at 10:38 am


  • 11 uzdatniaczewody.com.pl // Apr 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Your method of explaining everything in this article is truly fastidious, all be capable of easily know
    it, Thanks a lot.

  • 12 AC Silver Antiques // May 9, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Scott, your passion for antique china certainly comes across in your post. Always good to read a post by an enthusiastic writer.

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