A dish ring is a circular, spool-shaped stand. It is placed on the table so as to insulate it from a hot pan. A dish ring can also serve as an ornamental centrepiece, as they are often highly, intricately, decorated with chased and pierced decoration.
Typically a dish ring is between 3 ½ and 4 inches high, having said that there are other examples of dish ring that are smaller and taller than the average. Some dish rings have the same width top and bottom; however a lot have varying widths, so to allow different size dishes to sit top and bottom.
The most popular eras for the dish ring were middle to late 18th Century, and then the early 20th Century. The Georgian era dish rings are typically of two designs. First, the Rococo style, integrating farmyard and natural decoration such as cherubs, grape vines etc. The second popular style was the neoclassical style which utilised symmetrical and regular decoration.
There was a resurgence of the dish ring in the 20th century. Often the dish ring was made in the popular styles of the 18th Century: rococo and neoclassical. There was another influence that was brought in around this time, and that is the Celtic style.