This pair of antique oval silver-plated entrée dishes or vegetable dishes have bead pattern borders and attractive hand-engraved decoration of birds, butterflies and leaves. The handles can be removed so that the lids can be used as a second pair of serving dishes.
Of course, without tainting the flavour of food and being an excellent conductor of heat, silver or silver plate is the perfect material to create an entrée dish; a versatile, shallow and often rectangular serving dish with a lid that would keep entrées and vegetables hot while being transported from the kitchen to the dining table. It is perfect for serving cold foods in both the dish and its upturned lid, or to keep hot food warm by using one half as the cover to retain the heat. Those entrée dishes that could hold hot water to keep the food warm even longer, were mostly made in Old Sheffield Plate.
Although the word has changed its meaning through the centuries, entrée comes from a word meaning "entrance" and was first used in dining terms in the mid-16th century and referred to the first course of a sumptuous dinner. By the 1650s, the French entrée was a hot meat dish served after the soup and it continued to have this meaning into the 1920s when it came to have its present French meaning of "a light first course."
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