Monday, 28 January 2008

Table manners

Linen napkins from Jane Sacchi.
Dinner napkins should be as large (at least 18 inches square) and as luxurious as possible.
And, please, no fancy folding or napkin rings.

A George III pierced silver fiddle pattern fish slice, London 1813.
Highly preferable to the later Victorian version.

A pair of Victorian fish servers, the blade chased with floral swags, on similar handle with beaded edge, in case, 13 1/4" wide, Sheffield 1881.
But these are usually so attractive one could be forgiven for using them. What one should, however, not be lured into using is fish knives and forks. Regardless of how attractive they may be. Strictly a Victorian middle class invention that is seen as de trop.

Cased set of six silver handled dessert knives and forks.
These should be completely different from one's usual service. The choice is endless: porcelain, agate, ivory, etc.

Victorian seven piece dessert set, comprising a pair of grape scissors, two pairs of nutcrackers and four berry spoons with gilded bowls.
This is the sort of thing one can never find when looking.

Dessert service, 19Th Century.
Dessert services should be as pretty as possible, if only because they can.

Now playing: Lighthouse Family - Absolutely Everything
via FoxyTunes


mamacita said...

Good to know about fish knives and forks. This is why we're glad to have you, HOBAC.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

thanks mamacita!

Anonymous said...

Now that I have emerged from the shadows, red-faced, over your fish service comment ... I must protest ... if only on aesthetic grounds ... the fish service I have (which dates from about 1880) is the most ravishing thing imaginable ... with sturgeons, etc, delicately worked in relief on the blades and all manner of eels and other fishy creatures worked into the design of the handles. Oh, I do so love it, even though de trop. As an example of the silversmith's art, it is mesmerizingly, weirdly pretty. Still, I promise only to use it alone, in private, when I dine on Dover sole à la Marcel Boulestin.

Pigtown-Design said...

Whaaaa! I use my plain bone-handled fish knives and forks all of the time. I don't think they're exactly what you're referring to though, as the knives are more like long round-tipped butter knives and the forks have long tines. I do have some of the engraved knives though, in their pretty little cases.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

AL - nice to have you back.
I feel the room swaying...I hear the band playing...

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

fairfax - Whaaa! Alas, those are the very ones I mean.
I promise not to hold it against you though.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Nice to be back, HOBAC.

mamacita said...

AL -- I am glad to see that you are back, but where is your divine little blog?

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

mamacia -

katiedid said...

Well it's a good thing I have never had any the isn't it?! Your blog is, as ever, a wonderful education! I look forward to it daily....(even if I sometimes have to just lurk when time is tight!)

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

katiedid - nice to hear from you!
I was only saying... Who knew?

Decorno said...

Oh happy day. I always feel sooo validated when I share a strong opinion with you, my lovely HOBAC:

Seems we agree on napkins and rings.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

decorno - how could I have missed that! Right on all 6 counts, esp the Louboutins.