|"There is no worthier accomplishment for a man with a moustache than to take soup in an inoffensive manner… and by no means should the moustache be used to strain the soup." Cornelia Dobbs’ 1908 "Guide to Manners"|
|Example of a U.K. made, all silver moustache spoon, c 1880s ~ English author and poet, Rudyard Kipling once wrote of a woman who had complained that being kissed by a man who'd not wax his mustache was like "eating an egg without salt".|
Throughout time, mustaches, or moustaches, if you will, have fallen in and out of fashion. In the 1800s, mustaches were worn by the most prominent of men, including several U.S. Presidents and other world leaders of the era.
Russian Tzar Nikolas II
|U.S. President Grover Cleveland|
|A British "Improved" Moustache Spoon, in 1879, by T.P. Lomas|
|Great Britain's King Edward VII|
|U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt|
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, dining etiquette dictated that one have the correct utensils and other accoutrements at the dining table to be fashionable. Men with food in their mustaches were not fashionable in the least, so spoons and guards were invented for them.
Though mustaches and beards have made comebacks over the years, everything for mustaches except for mustache cups, seemed to fall out of favor until the 1970s. Still, the inventions to hold a man's mustache up while he ate or drank, and their explanations, or descriptions, never fail to amuse.
|"Since I don't smoke, I decided to grow a mustache is better for the health." ~Salvador Dali|
“Soup is the first course. All should accept it even if they let it remain untouched, because it is better to make a pretense of eating until the next course is served, than to sit waiting, or compel the servants to serve one before the rest. Soup should not be called for a second time. A soup-plate should never be tilted for the last spoonful.” John H. Young , “Our Deportment” 1879
“It is considered vulgar to take fish or soup twice. The reason for not being helped twice to fish or soup at a large dinner-party is, because by doing so you keep three parts of the company staring at you whilst waiting for the second course, which is spoiling, much to the annoyance of the mistress of the house. The selfish greediness, therefore, of so doing constitutes its vulgarity. At a family dinner it is of less importance, and is consequently often done.
You will sip your soup as quietly as possible from the side of the spoon, and you, of course, will not commit the vulgarity of blowing in it, or trying to cool it, after it is in your mouth, by drawing in an unusual quantity of air, for by so doing you would be sure to annoy, if you did not turn the stomach of the lady or gentleman next to you.
Be careful and do not touch either your knife or your fork until after you have finished eating your soup. Leave your spoon in your soup plate, that the servant may remove them.”Arthur Martine, from “Martine's Hand-book of Etiquette, and Guide to True Politeness” 1866
“Never blow your soup if it is too hot, but wait until it cools. Never raise your plate to your lips, but eat with your spoon.”
Cecil B. Hartley “The Gentlemen's Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness"
“In taking any liquid either from a spoon or drinking vessel, no noise must ever be made.” Emily Post, 1922
|Reed and Barton reissued these left-handed and right-handed mustache spoons for men in the 1970s, when mustaches made a comeback.|
“Push your soup spoon from the front of the bowl away from you to catch a mouthful. Bring this to your mouth and tip the soup in from the side of the spoon; don't try eating with your spoon at 90 degrees to your mouth. Don't suck or slurp. Tilt the bowl away from you in order to get the last few spoonfuls. Put your spoon down while you break off pieces of bread. Leave your spoon in the bowl, not on the side plate, when you have finished." Debrett's
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