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Sivler bonbon dishes have multiple uses in home

Sterling bonbon dish, bevel edge.  English.  (photo/sarah towey rainey)
Sterling bonbon dish, bevel edge. English. (photo/sarah towey rainey)

On the second part of my
Baton Rouge
antiques shopping spree my sister and I collected silver bonbon dishes.  Bonbon dishes are small candy dishes or trays that can be used in a variety of ways in the modern home. 


For those of you who care, the origin of the word "bonbon" is rather lost in the mists of time but an early reference seems to be about 1790-something; bonbon is described as a childish duplication of the French word bon (“good”).  By about the 1850s, general usage of the term was for any good thing, not limited to foodstuffs, but by the turn of the Century usage had mainly reverted back to sweets although the particular type of sweet is debatable and seems to vary by locale.


In any event, bonbon dishes are not usually in pristine condition and you will need to poke about a bit to find a quality piece at a fair price but isn’t that the fun of the thing?  Look for sterling or heavy silver plate; my sister and I prefer pieces made prior to the 1960s, either English or American, but that’s up to you.


On our recent pass through town my sister and I found  wonderful examples at Highland Road Antiques.  We worked for them but we also found some darling items in Denham Springs at the AntiqueVillagethere.  And we crossed the Sunshine Bridge to Donaldsonville and picked up some adorable pieces at Cabahanosse B&B and Antiques (we also had a lovely lunch in Donaldsonville; there’s much to do so make it a day trip). 


There are so many things you can do with your bonbon dishes that candy service is the least among them!  At holiday meals, my mother always serves cranberry sauce in a pair of sterling Reed and Barton dishes that are heavily embossed with a gadroon border.  Their original purpose?  Of course not but it wouldn’t be the holidays without them.


Another way to use your bonbon dishes is for the purely decorative, which is how my sister has used most of those we purchased.  In the slideshow you’ll see how she has mixed bonbon dishes with other small silver items on the walls of her kitchen to enhance her décor and to remind her of her recent trip to
Baton Rouge
, which was certainly a bonbon.   


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