The Fostoria American Finger Bowl Plate served as an underplate for the Finger Bowl. Many people today have never heard of using such a bowl or plate; however, in bygone years it was a custom that was used just prior to serving the dessert course. The original Finger Bowl Plate is featured in the 1915 Catalog Supplement, which is when it was first produced.
It has been said that two versions of the Finger Bowl Plate were produced – the old version that has a smooth edge (pictured in this post), and a later version which had a pointed edge. Official Fostoria documentation on these changes is scarce. I do know that the Finger Bowls and Finger Bowl Plates were produced up until approximately 1943. I can also verify that the original version of the Finger Bowl Plate was still being shown in the 1939 Fostoria American catalog. Therefore, the second version would had to have been produced after that date, and only for a few years … since the pieces were discontinued around 1943.
The Finger Bowl Plate is easy to recognize if you look for three things – the edges, the center design, and the size. Being approximately 6½” in diameter, there is one distinguishing factor that I think is most important – the mould from which it came from.
The Finger Bowl Plates were made from the same mould as the Finger Bowl. The Finger Bowl Plate is a flattened out Finger Bowl. Why is that important? Because, if you were to set the Finger Bowl on an authentic Finger Bowl Plate … and look straight down upon it, you would see the exact same center design mirrored against each other. The next time you are in the market to buy a Finger Bowl and Plate – simply take a look at their center design and see if they match up. If they do, you’re in luck! Many times; however, the Finger Bowls are sold with other plates – like the Saucer or the Bread and Butter Plates. Educate yourself and learn the differences.
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