When giving cookies or sweets on a pretty, decorative tray it was two gifts in one. And of course it was better to use a relatively inexpensive tray than putting the gift on one of your fine dishes. That's what these are -- inexpensive light cardboard, plates or trays.
At the Golden Glow Christmas convention in 2011, the museum room was filled with beautiful antiques and treasures, but this colorful display was one of my favorites and since I was in charge of the museum, I had a lot of time to look at it!
Larry Edman, a Golden Glow member who shared his display with others, told more about collecting the German cardboard trays called Weihnachtsteller, a treats plate.
Edman's collection numbers about two hundred, with only a few duplicates. The earliest piece in his collection is dated, 1910. The only other way he has been able to figure out the age is by the stamps and printed designs on the back of the cardboard trays.
According to Edman, the best way to date the earlier plates are by the marks imposed on the economy since 1910, the various marks include: Germany, Made in Germany, W. Germany, Made in W. Germany, Made in Western Germany, and West German.
Edman also mentioned that from 1959 to 1964 the Hallmark Company imported a series of Weihnachtsteller. These plates are marked Hallmark on the front and W Germany on the back. Also in the collection are a few Easter and Halloween plates.
What to Pay:
Prices for these colorful trays are quite affordable. Edman mentions that $10. is the most he has ever paid for these. He has paid from a low of $2. to the $10. mentioned. But he does warn that if you are looking for them on eBay, you will most likely pay quite a bit more, especially when shipping is added to the cost.
These plates are still produced in Germany and if you're traveling or have friends there, they might pick up a few for you at an affordable cost.
You've probably seen similar trays or plates in discount stores, places like Walgreens, but those are plasticized versions. These are all considered Christmas plates, so you might start there and look for the antique versions when shopping at shows and stores. In addition to Christmas themed plates I have Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving.