Ceramic Cheese Dish
In the 19th century, before the days of plastic containers and refrigerators, these dishes (also known as cheese-keepers) kept cheese from drying out. These covered dishes also kept the odour of the cheese from spreading through the room. They always had a small hole in the top to discourage mould.
Several different types of cheese-keepers were made. By 1850 the large, cylindrical Stilton cheese, popular in England, was kept on a large round dish that was just the right size for the cheese. A tall dome, about the size of the cheese, was placed over the dish. It fitted inside the dish’s raised rim.
A smaller cheese dish became popular in the 1860s. Cheese was served in a large wedge on a rectangular plate with a rectangular, triangular or wedge-shaped cover. The dishes were usually made of pottery, including creamware, ironstone and majolica. A few glass dishes were made
By the 1870s, cheese dishes were made to match dinner sets. They remained popular until about 1920.
A cheese course was served at dinner parties between the pudding and the dessert. Sometimes the cheese was cut into squares and passed around on a footed glass or pottery dish.