SALVER, a flat tray of silver or other metal used for carrying or serving glasses, cups, dishes, etc., at table or for the presenting of a letter or card by a servant. In a royal or noble household the fear of poisoning led to the custom of tasting the food or drink before it was served to the master and his guests; this was known as the " assay " of meat and drink, and in Spanish was called salva (salvor, to preserve from risk, Lat. salvare, to save). The term salva was also applied to the dish or tray on which the food or drink was presented after the tasting process. There seems no doubt that this Spanish word is the source of the English " salver "; a parallel is found in the origin of the term " credence-table," which is from the Ital. credenza, Lat. credere, to believe, trust (see CREDENCE AND CREDENCE-TABLE).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)