Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Many of my guests have been asking, "What are chargers for?  What is their history?"  There are many different styles and colors, some very extravagant, some too beautiful to cover up.  I like to use a clear plate when wanting to show off what's beneath it.  Here is what I've found about chargers.  I'm even more interested knowing there are references to the Bible in the use of a charger.

Charger (table setting)

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Place setting with red charger.
Charger plates or service plates are larger decorative plates used to dress up dinner tables at parties, weddings, and other special events. While the charger plates have been around since the 19th century, they returned to popularity in the late `90s. Since food is not actually served on chargers, they are often called underplates or chop plates.[1] The word "charger" originated around 1275 - 1325 from the Middle English "chargeour". Formerly, a charger signified either a large platter or a large, shallow dish for liquids.[2]

They are usually larger than most common dinner plates. Since they are not used for food, charger plates can be found in a variety of materials, from traditional china, to metal, wood, glass, plastic and pearl. And they may be decorated with substances that can be toxic if ingested.
Charger plate etiquette and use varies among caterers and restaurants. Some professional catering companies remove the decorative charger plate as soon as the guests are seated. More commonly, charger plates are kept on the table during the serving of soups and first courses, and act as a base on which food-bearing bowls and dishes are placed. In other instances, when the design of charger plates complements the design of dining plates, charger plates are left on the table throughout the course of meal. However, charger plates are always removed before serving desserts.[1]

[edit] Culture

In Mark 6:25, KJV and Matthew 14:8, KJV, the "daughter of Herodias" requested John the Baptist's head in a "charger" from Herod Antipas as her reward for dancing at his birthday party.[3][4][5]

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