This is a "curate." I purchased it a couple of years ago in an antique shop in Cookeville, TN. It was labeled as a "Victorian pie cooling rack."
Because I had seen these three-tier wooden folding racks used in a few tea rooms I knew I had to have this one! in the tea rooms they were used sitting on the floor beside the table holding teapots of different teas on each level. My curate is old and fragile so I currently use it to display some of my ceramic children's tea sets.
Bernideen at Bernideen's Teatime Blog recently posted about her Curate here. Take a look at her beautiful blog and interesting post.
Curate is a British term. A curate was an assistant to the rector or vicar. Therefore, this rack is an assistant to the tea server or hostess.
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