In the brand new issue of Martha Stewart Living, there is a beautifully photographed (of course!) article on a collection of domes - invented for protecting food, the domes shown could certainly still function in that capacity but are brought together here as a more decorative exercise. The story brings together a intriguingly eclectic array of styles from over the years...
The collection provides a glimpse into how meals were served way back when. Domes like these are no longer part of our daily or even special occasion dinners, but were a necessity when dinner parties were presented a la francaise. This meant that the meal was laid out on the table before the diners arrived. With the switch to service a la russe (meaning the food was served one course at at time) in the 19th century, it was the beginning of the end for regular use of the domes.
Some details from the article for the grouping shown here: Butter and cheese domes were commonly included in dinnerware sets in the last century. The seashell dome dome in caramel glass, bottom right, is Victorian and the faux-bamboo ceramic cheese dish, bottom center, is French.
To see more of the photos of the collection and to read the entire article, check out the July issue of Martha Stewart Living, available now.