Bone dish

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bone dish is crescent moon shaped dish to left of charger plate

Bone dishes are used to hold discarded bones from fish at the dining table. They are largely antiques, rarely used by modern diners.


Bone dishes were "considered a necessary part of a table setting for the Victorian table," according to, a resource for antiques and collectibles.


The bone dish should be placed to the left of the dinner plate, wrote the newspaper columnist Judith Martin, "Miss Manners," in 2001.


Most bone dishes have a crescent shape, enabling them to curve around the dinner plate, but others were made in more whimsical shapes.


German potters preferred scalloped edges on the bone dishes they made, Charles Mather wrote in a 1992 "Flea Market" column printed in the "Victoria Advocate" newspaper. Haviland, a French firm, used floral designs.


In his column, Mather says bone dishes were a favorite gift to brides in the late 1800s and could be purchased in sets.


  • Kovel's on Antiques and Collectibles

  • Charles Mather, Columnist
  • Miss Manners,3216171