Next time you host a tea party, treat your friends like royalty, Victorian style, with an antique tea cart. Tea carts, or tea trolleys, feature flat tops shaped like squares, ovals, or rectangles, and roll along on two wheels. In the early 19th century, proud hosts and hostesses served lucky friends and family members tea, condiments, and finger sandwiches, nestled among bouquets of ornate flowers, from carts. Victorian-era carts, popular in England, derive from different materials, including metal and wood. Wooden tea carts derive from oak, mahogany, and walnut. Special, sparkling veneer polishes add a decorative finish, which adds aesthetic appeal and protects carts from stains and cuts. Some carts feature elegant bead trimming. They roll along with wooden wheels and curving handlebars. These carts store dining utensils and serving ware on bottom shelves, reserving the wide, polished tops for displaying ornate tea sets and platters with decadent foods. While English nobility served guests with wood carts, wealthy French used glass. Glass tea carts featuring smooth, dazzling trays, shelves, and bars cut from fine, clear glass. Special polishes protect these carts from environmental damage, and add a stunning glow. You can look for an antique tea cart on eBay, where sellers maintain a large inventory, giving you many carts from which to choose.
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