Weekly Favorites: Tole Tray Love

toletraysfrenhgardenhouse.comIt’s no secret. I adore Toleware, and so do many of you, by the number of emails I get asking when “new” antique and vintage trays will be available on FrenchGardenHouse. One of your favorite posts is all about Toleware, it’s one of the most popular posts on this blog. {see it HERE.}

Tole comes in all sizes and colors and is hand painted with all sorts of beautiful images of flowers, fruits, people and landscape scenes.

Some of the most collectible and rare to find Toleware Trays are RED. {I always get slightly giddy when I find a little collection of red trays for you!}

But there are many collectors out there who only lust after the sublime Black trays.

This tray, above, is one of the most spectacular trays I have ever had for sale.  It’s from the 19th century, all hand painted, and the artist’s work is astoundingly beautiful. Made in England, this Chinoiserie Victorian  Toleware  Tray is made of Papier Mache, and inlaid with Mother of Pearl around the edge.  Parcel gilt is handpainted on the floral garland that dances all around the scalloped shape. Trays like this are truly a once in a life time find, and work like this is museum worthy!

Tole trays are always a sure fire way to add warmth to your home. It’s one of my suggestions when clients as me “how do I make my beautiful house feel like home?” A collection of Toleware trays hung on a wall, a grand scale tole tray displayed over your mantel, or a beautiful tray in your favorite color on your coffee table with fresh flowers and a candle on it add beauty, as well as a personal touch to your interior.

One of the things I look for in purchasing Tole trays is the quality of the painting. There are a lot of Tole Trays and other pieces out there, but if you collect, I suggest you buy the absolute BEST pieces you can afford, and pay close attention to the artist’s skill level.  This Yellow tray has some wear, but the painting is just so beautiful, and the flowers are unusual, the hydrangeas are so well painted you almost want to snip them off and put them in a vase!

There are other pieces of vintage Toleware that are gorgeous, like the two American Tole wastecans below.  They are amongst the finer ones made, and extremely difficult to find these days, because once collectors have them, they do not ever part with them! A cut above the more readily available ones, what makes these spectacular and worth premium prices is the quality of the hand painting, and the large gilt filigree rim and two side “handles”.

No matter what color you love in your interior design, there are toleware trays in that color. Below are some lighter colored Trays, the first, a gorgeous faded PINK tray with a large central bouquet, just right for those of you who adore shabby pieces in the softer colors.

This is one of my all time favorites: painted in the early 1900’s with great skill by an accomplished artist, wonderful colors as only the true antique tole pieces have. The raised rim has open heart shaped handles and gilt hand painted bell flower embellishments.

The tray below is quite rare to find, due to the colors used in the hand painted central bouquet, the brightest pinks, lavenders and purples so beautifully mixed by the artist. You could search forever for a tray with these bright colors, they just are that rare.  This tray can literally make the colors of your room pop, and tie your color scheme together. That is the beauty of these old hand painted creations, one gorgeous tray, displayed with care, can tie all the colors in your room together, lend a touch of history and charm, and warms up a room to make your beautiful house a home.

To see all the trays available please click HERE and type TOLE in the search box to see all the available toleware pieces available.

If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.

6 thoughts on “Weekly Favorites: Tole Tray Love”

  1. John Paul

    These are beautiful! We love our collection of antique trays, many we bought from you.

  2. Just bought the biggest of your red trays, have been looking for one for five years. The quality of your trays is the best. So beautiful, can’ t wait to get it. Thank you for always offering such high quality pieces . Love FGH.

  3. Gerard du P

    As always, your selection of toleware is a huge leap above the rest, with a few of your pieces being exemplary. Still think of my antique MOP tray from FGH as one of the best in our collection. Great post.

  4. Hi Lidy,
    I have not been here for a while…. but it sure was nice to see all those gorgeous trays!
    If I could have it my way… the one on the stand is “mine”


  5. pauline morris


  6. Amber Ferguson

    This post is all the way back from 2012, but it is just as lovely today because tole timeless! I am looking for the perfect tole tray for my new French farmhouse kitchen makeover. I love all the examples here!

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