First recorded in the late 1770’s, toast racks first appeared on breakfast tables. As dining habits became more refined, toast racks became very popular and within a very short time, were seen in more and more homes. Thus, not only being utilitarian, they also became the item to have. As the toast rack has never gone out of fashion, each period has seen new designs with silversmiths producing them in keeping with popular styles of the times. Ingenious examples such as expanding toast racks, novelty and unique designs, as well as pieces made by collectible silversmiths, have always been highly sought after.
The toast rack was always used at the start of the day – for breakfast. A toast rack has vertical partitions that are connected to a base (usually ranging from 5 to 8 partitions), a handle at the top allowing the toast rack to be easily passed around the table, and some even have a stand/tray underneath them. This makes it easier to collect the crumbs, allowing for easy crumb disposal.
A very stylish Antique Victorian Silver Plate Toast Rack. Quite elegant in design having eight partitions which allows eight pieces of toast to be used. It has a decorative ring and resides on four ball feet. Although a toast rack can be used for serving toast every morning, its function (like so many other antique pieces) has evolved over time. Its primary function today for both men and women is to be used on their desk to hold letters.