Antique plate racks



2015-06-26 11:17:30

Antique plate racks are wooden racks intended for storing or draining plates, made over 100 years ago.

Background and Description

Plate racks have been used for a practical way of storing plates, or draining them after washing, for centuries.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act defines antique as anything produced over 100 years ago.

Antique examples are generally made out of wood. They appear as a set of shelves with bars across, or a set of slats for slotting the plates into, in a frame designed to be mounted on a wall.

Original plate racks were utilitarian items, and may have been used in the kitchens of great houses or in small cottages. Frequent use may have diminished the condition, but helps suggest the item as a genuine antique.

They may also be referred to as ‘dish racks’.

Some dressers have plate racks built into them.

Collecting antique plate racks

Antique plate racks can vary hugely in appearance and value, dependant on age, quality of manufacture, knowledge of the designer.

Care must be taken when assuring a plate rack is definitely antique, as modern examples can be crafted and then made to look old.

They are often collected as part of a decorative theme in a house, and continue to be used for their original purpose.

Antique plate racks can be found at auction, on eBay, in antique stores and reclamation yards, and other second hand sources.


Value can vary dependant on age, condition and manufacturer. Examples can sell on auction websites such as eBay from a few hundred up to a few thousand dollars or pounds.

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