Sunday, January 31, 2016

Edwardian Etiquette Wisdom

"Yes, I toy with men's affections. I don't see how it is any of your concern!"

From "The Morning Chit-Chat"

The Very Pretty Girl, being in a bad mood, had been treating the Very Devoted Young Man with the most studied arrogance during the whole evening. She had ordered him hither and yon with almost insulting tyranny. She had refused an invitation of his with a shortness that was decidedly rude.

She had contradicted him flatly several times and laughed at him again and again with the unpleasant laughter that savors of mockery rather than friendly fun.

When he had finally taken his leave, the sandy haired, plain little girl who shared the Very Pretty Girl's apartment with her, cried reproachfully: "How could you treat him so? I think you were perfectly horrid to him."

The Very Pretty Girl sank down in the most comfortable chair—which she habitually arrogated to herself—and laughed with evident delight. "He seems to like it pretty well, doesn't he?" she responded. "While you were out in the kitchen he just begged to come again day after tomorrow, and I told him I thought that he was simply ridiculous, and that if he thought I had nothing else to do than sit around with him every evening, he was very much mistaken."

The sandy haired little girl looked at the Very Pretty Girl a moment, just about the way any one who knew the value of jewels would look if he saw a child throwing a very wonderful pearl or diamond into the water—only much more so—opened her mouth as if to say something and then shut it again and walked out into the kitchen and started to wash the chafing dish— a part of apartment bliss which the Very Pretty Girl most decidedly did not arrogate to herself.

Whereupon the Very Pretty Girl sat back in the most comfy chair and laughed aloud to herself, enjoying at the same time the silveriness of the laugh and the recollection of the Very Devoted Man's discomfiture.

Altogether, she felt that she had been most clever and brilliant in walking over a human being just because he was chained down by an infatuation into a position where she could walk upon him. You see she was forgetting several little facts. She was forgetting that no matter how willing the victim, walking on people is not good form.

She was forgetting that no matter how willing to endure rudeness and arrogance a foolish man may be, rudeness is just as much rudeness and just as ugly and undesirable a quality. She was forgetting that even if a man is willing to stand for being contradicted and laughed at, that does not make contradiction and mockery pretty things.

She was forgetting that no matter how generous and ready to give everything and receive almost nothing in return a man in love may be, it is just as selfish and soul killing for a woman to get in the habit of taking everything and making no proper return.

The Very Pretty Girl—and her hundreds and thousands of sisters, incidentally—who forget all these things, always think that their attitude is fascinating and attractive. Some day, perhaps, they will find out the contrary. And then for a time they will be very unhappy. But it will be a blessed unhappiness, for it will bring vastly greater and truer happiness in its train.
 — By Ruth Cameron, 1911

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Russian "Real Tea"

A Test for Tea from 1889
Is your tea real?

A Russian analyst gives the following as a test by which tea can be proved to be genuine or not. Take a pinch of tea in a glass, pour upon it a little cold water and shake it well. Pure tea will only slightly color the water, while a strong infusion is quickly got trom the adulterated or painted leaf. 

Now boil both sorts separately, and let them stand until cool, and the difference between them will be most marked. The false tea will become stronger after a long standing, but will remain transparent, whereas pure tea will become muddy or milky. This last appearance arises from the tannic acid, which is a natural property in pure tea, but which in artificial tea is entirely absent. – Sacramento Daily Union, 1899

Russian Style: 
Nouveau Riche? Or Old News? 
Talk to anyone who's lived or done business in Russia since the fall of the Soviets and you're likely to hear about their obsession with fashion of the Bret Easton Ellis type: labels, labels, labels. Armani, Bulgari, Prada—these are the touchstones by which Russians measure their progress. It's the usual story of the nouveau riche, with the important distinction that there hasn't been old money here since 1917. "Carefully disheveled, that's not a thing here," says Emily Gould, a former editor who lives in Moscow. 
But, aside from being a bit of a cliché , the characterization isn't entirely fair, or up-to-date. Gone (mostly) are the days when politicians dressed like gangsters and businessmen flaunted tailored jackets by leaving the sleeve buttons open. Certain styles once considered outré – or effeminate—shorts and flashy dress shirts—are now in style, especially among an emerging subculture of Silicon Valley-style startups. Interior designers once hired to bling out Moscow penthouses now make their living toning them down. You're almost as likely to see a country-style Azeri restaurant as an opulent Belle Époque mirrored palace. All told, there's been an uptick in attention to quality and solidity—a trend that has accelerated during the global downturn. As Andrew Paulson says, ignoring this reality would be "like telling a 12-year-old joke." – Source Conde´Nast Traveler's, 2009,  Etiquette 101: Russia, Written by

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Royal Parents Defy Etiquette

A “perambulator” or “pram” (and for some odd reason, according to this account, a “Go-Cart.”)

Royal Parents Defy Etiquette 
to Wheel Heir in “Go-Cart”

Being an Archduke and next in succession to two crowns, His Highness Charles Francis Joseph is deprived of one of the high privileges of a papa. Proud as he is of his son, Otto, now a sturdy two-year-old, the Archduke is forhidden by court etiquette from wheeling the young hopeful about the streets of Vienna in a perambulator. 

But royal hearts can be human, and the Archduke and his wife, Archduchess Zita, who is near kinswoman, have devised a way to be real parents without offending court superciliousness. They put baby in the automobile, strap the perambulator on behind and drive out into the country. 

There along secluded roads may be seen a pair of Imperial and Royal Highnesses taking turns in pushing baby's chariot, while Imperial and Royal Highness No. 1, the baby, chatters in fluent German about the rural sights and grounds about him. — From The Sacramento Union, May 1914

 Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, January 29, 2016

Etiquette Drives Princess Away

Caroline found the rigid Weimar court etiquette intolerable. The court was generally considered to be one of the most stifling and etiquette-driven in Germany. A source recounts: "It envelops royalty there in a species of captivity, and while the grand duke lends thereto and is too conservative to admit of any change, it crushes with its trammels the more spirited members of the family." 

Princess Driven to Flee 
From Grand Duke's Side by Tyranny 
She Leaves the Court of Weimar Without Notice

(Special to The Herald) 
Berlin, Aug. 11, 1903 —

Court tyranny has driven the Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar from the side of her young husband. Without a word as to why or where she was going, the Duchess has fled from the palace at Weimar. 

It was only three months ago that Caroline, the daughter of Prince Henry of Reuss XXII, married the Grand Duke William Ernest of Saxe-Weimar. It was looked upon as a pure love match, and continental papers devoted much space to the romance. This sudden turn of affairs has created consternation in court circles. 

The Grand Duke is said to be beside himself with annoyance. For several years a certain clique has predominated in the court at Saxe-Weimar. When the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess returned from their honeymoon, these ladies set out to instruct the young lady, who is just 19 years old, in court etiquette as observed at Saxe-Weimar. 

The Princess, who is quite unconventional, resented this supervision. When she rebelled, this influential clique appears to have made trouble for her, and the Princess, finding she was a slave at her own court, took flight. 

The role played by the Grand Duke is not clear, but it appears that the overbearing courtiers are more than a match for him. One report has it that the Princess fled to Switzerland. It is certain that the Grand Duke has had all trains for Switzerland watched, and reports made to him. He even went so far as to take the train himself in following one of the rumors that his wife had been located. 

The German papers deal with the matter with much reserve, but in a way to leave no doubt regarding the general outlines of the story. The Reichsbote, one of the most conservative journals in Berlin, publishes a brief account. The Lokalanzeiger, a semi-official organ, discusses the affair in its court and society columns. The Tageblatt comments as follows: "The Grand Duchess, like every other woman, wants to be mistress of her own home, and the probable end of the conflict will be changes in the grand ducul household staff." — The Los Angeles Herald,1903

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Princess Catherine, America's 1st Princess

Prince Achille Murat's Snuff-Box — Prince Murat visited America in 1821, decided to stay and bought vast estates in Louisiana and Florida. Seen by many as rude, coarse, and untidy, due to his tobacco chewing and continual spitting, along with liberal use of "colorful" language, he married the beautiful young Catherine Gray. Catherine was wooed by Murat after first meeting at a picnic, at which he drank from her slipper. Evidently not put off by his poor manners, Catherine became the first American princess... But not a "Dollar Princess."

A Royal International Marriage

Now that international marriages, with the nobility of foreign countries, are holding the center of the stage the story of the marriage of one of our southern girls of the long ago, when our girls were wedded for love, and not for filthy lucre, will be found interesting. It is the story of one of our girls, who had two strains of Washington blood in her veins. Catherine Willis, great grand-daughter of Corporal Fielding Lewis and his wife Betty Washington, her father Major Byrd, Charles Willis, a grandson of Catharine, aunt of President George Washington.

Catharine Willis, a marvelously beautiful young girl, married when only fourteen years old, Atchison Gray, who lived but a short time. She afterward married a nephew of the great Emporer, Napoleon Bonaparte, Achille Murat. Prince Achille Murat was the eldest son of Joachim Murat, King of Naples, formerly a field marshal of Napoleon Bonaparte, who married Caroline Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon, and who was executed after the fall of the Emperor.

They had four children, who were educated by his widow, in Austria. Her two daughters married noblemen of high rank, equal to their own, and their two sons married beautiful and notable American women.

Prince Achille Murat visited America in 1821, decided to remain here and bought vast estates in Louisiana and Florida, making Tallahassee, Florida, his home. He married there the beautiful young widow, Catharine Gray, daughter of Colonel Byrd Willis, of Willis Hall, grandniece of President George Washington. She met Prince Achille in Florida. They spent much time in their beautiful home near Tallahassee, though they made many delightful trips abroad. 

When the Indian war broke out in Florida, his fighting blood was stirred. He went to the front and was commissioned colonel. His bravery and strategy upon the field won him many laurels. He was a great student and used to devote his time to scientific research. He was proficient in seven languages, and bore a striking resemblance to his uncle, the great general and emperor. The hope of his life was to see the Bonapartes restored to power, but this was denied him. He died in 1847. 

When Louis Napoleon was made Emporer, he remembered Achille Murat's widow, whom he had once met in London. He settled an independent fortune upon her, and at his urgent request was present in Paris at a family reunion, where she was received by the Emperor with such honors as befitted her rank, and received much attention, not only as the widow of the nephew of the great Napoleon, but also as the great niece of General Washington. 

After a brief stay in France, she returned to Florida, in spite of their urgent entreaties that she should remain with them. Her deeds of charity were numerous and she was beloved by rich and poor alike. She died in 1867, and was buried beside her husband in the cemetery at Tallahassee, Florida, where handsome monuments mark their last resting places. 

On them may be found the following inscriptions:
Departed This Life April 18, 1847, 

This monument is dedicated by his wife, Catherine, in perpetual memory of her love. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Widow of 
COL. CHARLES LOUIS NAPOLEON ACHILLE MURAT and Daughter of the Late Col. Byrd Willis, of Virginia. Who departed this life in the 6th day of August, 1867, in the 64th year of her age. A kind and affectionate wife and sister, A sincere and devoted friend. None named her but to praise. None knew her but to love her. 

To his brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, Napoleon presented a gold snuff-box, bearing upon the lid a cameo likeness of the great Field Marshal Murat. He presented it to his son, Achille, who brought it with him to Florida. His widow, Catherine Willis Murat, gave it to her esteemed friend and adviser, Woodson T. White, who gave it to his son, Woodson T. White, residing in Waco, Texas, who still has it among his treasures, and through his courtesy, a picture of this interesting memento is herewith given. — The Los Angeles Herald, 1908

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

More Etiquette of Snuff

A nobleman with his fingers in his snuff box — Snuff is powdered tobacco, usually blended with aromatic herbs or spices. The habit of snuff-taking spread to China from the West during the 17th century and became established in the 18th century. People generally carried snuff in a small bottle. By the 20th century these bottles had become collectors' items, owing to the great variety of materials, precious stones, rock crystal, etc.... and decorative techniques used in their production.
More Snuff Etiquette

Traditionally gentlemen should never take snuff when ladies are present. However if you are in a situation where modern interaction would usually allow both sexes to smoke, for example a public house, then it is acceptable. 

Formal etiquette dictates that women abstain from tobacco until at least fifty years of age. (Wife of King George III, "Snuffy Charlotte," could have avoided that nick-name, had she heeded this advice).
The best of the Viennese tradition of gold box-making is shown in this superbly enameled snuff box, which forms part of a set. Catering for the necessities of elegant life, it comprises an étui or small case with a knife, snuff spoon, toothpick and ear pick, watch and châtelaine (from which one's watch hung) and a matching snuff-box. 

Snuff-boxes should be chosen for each varying occasion. For a formal event, a silver, ivory or mother-of-pearl snuff-box, is appropriate. A brass or teak snuff-box is much more appropriate for watching rugby, or 'rugger.' Pewter should not be used, as the metal is too soft, and a leather or cloth snuff-pouch is not considered suitable, because the snuff will often become too moist.

Take the snuff-box from your pocket and pass it into your left hand. Your inner left jacket pocket should be used to store all tobacco products.

Tap the snuff-box with your middle and fore-finger, so that the powdered tobacco gathers at one side. This will also alert your acquaintances that snuff is about to be passed around.              

Open the snuff-box and inspect the contents. Check that the tobacco is not damp and that it is finely powdered. If one finds it is unusable, or if there is insufficient snuff to provide for the group, there is no shame in returning the snuff-box to one's pocket at this point.

If one finds there is enough snuff for the present company, the proper etiquette is to present the snuff-box with a courteous bow. 

The snuff-box travels in a clockwise manner, (the opposite of food at a table) and should only be held in the left hand. It is very reminiscent of the way port is passed.

Receive the snuff-box back with the left hand.          
Above– A selection of Chinese snuff holders. French Emporer Napoleon was once given a fragile mother-of-pearl snuff-box by Empress Josephine. When it broke through his overuse, Napoleon was distraught until Josephine presented him with another.     

Gather the snuff by striking the side with the middle and forefinger. Take a pinch with the right hand, between the thumb and fore-finger. Hold the snuff for a second or two between the fingers before taking. This not only allows sufficient time to pass the snuff-box forward without keeping people waiting, but also displays that you are not greedy, nor are you hoarding the snuff-box.

Carry the pinch to the nose. Never lean towards your hand. If anything snuff should be taken with your head tilted slightly backwards. 

A fashionable, mustachioed gent's snuff holder ··· "Edward Wortley Montagu, the eccentric son of Lady Mary, is said to have possessed more snuff- boxes than would suffice a Chinese idol with a hundred noses— a collection which, perhaps, was never equaled, unless by that of King George IV, who was not less extravagant and recherche in snuff and snuff-boxes than in other things."— San Francisco Call, 1896
Snuff can also be taken from an indentation formed at the base of the thumb. If you place your hand flat on the table with your fingers spread. Then as you raise the thumb this will reveal what is known as 'The Anatomical Snuff-box' or what is sometimes known colloquially as 'The Poorman's Snuff-box.' This method is not recommended because the valuable snuff is far more likely to spill. 

One should attempt to snuff with precision by both nostrils and without grimaces or distortion of the features.                     
Above- An ornate, wooden snuff-box, in the shape of a boot. – According to Betty Boyd Caroli, Dolly Madison, the wife of US President James Madison, used snuff. Caroli writes, "Stained fingers left little doubt that she used snuff, not an acceptable habit for 19th C. ladies, but one that was excused in her." One woman supposedly mused that in Mrs. Madison's hands, "... the snuff-box seems only a gracious implement with which to charm" according to the author. It is also said that Mrs. Madison requested a closed casket at her funeral, as snuff-taking had falllen out of vogue for women and she did not want anyone to see her stained fingers. 

A very important point of differentiation between the etiquette of British and European snuff-takers, is that in European countries it is acceptable to let out a large sneeze after taking snuff. However, in Britain, doing so is considered quite rude. 

It is also very important that you sniff but do not snort. The snuff should not enter deeply into the sinuses. (Contrary to this advice in 1820 the "double barreled snuff pistol" was invented; it was capable of packing a day's worth of snuff into the nose using an explosive charge. This kind of behavior would be considered vulgar by anyone's standards.)          
"PARDON MY SNEEZE! —Dating from days when it was customary for gentlemen to take snuff, the two delicately, colored snuff-boxes at the entrance to the Senate chamber in Washington are kept filled while the Senate is in session. Here is Dick Oyster, in charge of stationery, filling them. Originally placed to prevent head colds, the snuff is still used liberally by the solons." — The Madera Tribune, 1937

Close your snuff-box with a flourish. Then, return it to your jacket pocket.

Always wipe your nose and collar with a handkerchief. Specialist handkerchiefs are available for this purpose. Usually found to be colorful, patterned and silken, they are made to be thrown away, as they will rapidly become soiled and a dark brown, whenever the nose runs.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Etiquette for Snuff

Offering a pinch of snuff —Throughout the 17th Century, the use of snuff was growing in Europe, however it was Louis XV of France who banned the use of snuff from the French Court, during his reign.

On Snuff Etiquette 
The art of snuff taking has historically had a variety of etiquette rules and hidden references of significance in one's social status. There has been wide use amongst noblemen and the common man alike, but the more elegant the manner in which snuff was stored and taken, the higher the social status of the snuffer. 
The French historian Henri d'Allemagne aptly describes this: "To take snuff, people of noble birth were meant to tap on the lid, take a few grains with the tip of their slender fingers, to make a slight gesture and to inhale the powder with ecstasy. 
On the contrary, the countryman digged his thumb and forefinger inside the snuff box in order to take out a large pinch of tobacco, putting it on the back of his left hand and snorted it in a noisy way while rubbing his nose."          

According to the book, "Drugs in Society," snuffing first became fashionable in the court of France during King Louis XIII's reign, though he actually would not permit it in his presence.  It was considered daintier and more elegant than inhaling smoke.
“As snuff-taking is merely an idle, dirty habit, practised by stupid people in the unavailing endeavor to clear their stolid intellect, and is not a custom particularly offensive to their neighbors, it may be left to each individual taste as to whether it be continued or not. An "Elegant" cannot take much snuff without decidedly "losing caste." 
"Doctor," said an old gentleman, who was an inveterate snuff-taker, to a physician, "is it true that snuff destroys the olfactory nerves, clogs, and otherwise injures the brain ? " " It cannot be true," was the caustic reply, " since those who have any brains never take snuff at all.” — George Stewart Rippey, 1895   
“Snuffing, hawking and expectorating must never be done in society."John H. Young, 1881 
“Never refuse with disdain a pinch of snuff, and rather than disoblige people, take one, even if you throw it away, after having pretended to take it. Beware of presenting to ladies, in balls or assemblies, a box of sweet things, under penalty of having the air of a caricature.” Elisabeth Celnart, 1833 
“Never take the chair usually occupied by the lady or gentleman of the house, even though they be absent, nor use the snuff-box of another, unless he offers it.” Arthur Martine, 1866

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Retro 1950s Etiquette Points

Do it this way.... Not the other!
Points for Parents and Retro "Modern Etiquette" from 1952
From Edyth Thomas Wallace 
and Roberta Lee

A small child's rudeness may be due to his ignorance of a more acceptable way of expressing himself.
Mother: "I'll slap your mouth every time you say such things as ‘shut up' to me. You are a bad boy to talk that way to your mother.” 
Mother:  "Instead of saying, ‘shut up, I’m talking,’ the polite thing to say is,‘Please don't interrupt me,' Now you say it the nice way."
Q.  Is it proper for women to shake hands with each other when being introduced? 
A. Women may, or may not, shake hands with each other, as they prefer, unless the one who is about to offer her hand is certain that it will be agreeable, she will do well not to be too hasty about making this advance. 

Q. If individual salt and pepper shakers are not used on the dinner table, how many should be provided? 
A. Salt and pepper shaker should be placed between every two covers. 

Q. When a girl is introducing the man she is to marry, should she speak of him as her fiancé?
A. Yes.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Etiquette and Male Gossips

They were aware of what his peers were saying about them — Never will a true gentleman allude to any conquests which he may have made with ladies, nor will he indulge in other gossip.
Men Gossips Quite as Numerous as Women and Even More Slanderous!

It Is a Mistaken Belief of Women That Men Are Their Best and Most Liberal Minded Friends, Until They Discover the Truth!

Woman has been accused of gossiping, because she lacked occupation. Man, with his manifold duties, is supposed to be too busy for gossip. But men gossips are quite us numerous as those of the fairer sex. In men’s clubs many a scandal is set rolling which gains momentum as it proceeds upon its way and wrecks names and homes before it finishes its course.
Foolish women risk their reputations by allowing men to compromise them, and believe implicitly that their admirers will protect their names against the whole world. 

Men Tell Stories of Scandalous Import 

Yet over a “Stag Dinner’’ or over the Club Table, the story ot these indiscretions are freely told. The names are possibly, or probably, withheld; but it is a simple matter for the listeners to locate the character in the story of the play as related by the proud Lothario. Under the influence of wine and "Good Fellowship,” men who have been trusted and believed in by weak women have more than once shown letters and boasted of their conquests. 

Woman has been accused of being jealous in their treatment of their own sex. The arrival of a new woman in her circle is supposed to awaken her to a sense of rivalry, which leads her to do petty acts. But it was a young man who carried off the palm for petty actions at one of the summer resorts. Because an attractive young woman came to the place without bringing a detailed account of her past life, the young man set himself the noble task of studying the directory of the town from which she came, and investigating the history ot all families bearing her name. 

Each day he made a new report upon the possible identity of the young woman. His listeners were amused, but no one was frank enough to tell him how despicable he seemed in all eyes. Meantime the very worthy and tired young woman, who had left an excellent position among the world’s educators, and who came away for rest and recreation, and chose to avoid any thought of her duties while resting, was all unconscious of this espionage. Liked and respected by her own sex, she was not prepared to find a would-be spy and gossip among men. 

Women Growing More Liberal-Minded

It is a mistaken belief of most women that men are their best and most liberal-minded friends. Men demand more of women in the way of conventional behavior than other women demand. Men are much more critical than women. A man will not hesitate to be seen in public with a woman whose name rests under a shadow; but he will be very firm in forbidding his wife or sister or mother to be seen with her. That is not friendship nor defense. A woman has been known to declare her belief In the innocence of one who was the subject of gossip and at the same time to announce her Intention to stand by her. And she has been prevented by the men of her family. Yet these same men were regarded by the victim of gossip as loyal to her because they spoke to her in public places, while women held aloof. 

Men believe themselves to be more liberal and just in their estimate of women than our sex, but they are not. They deceive themselves. Women are growing more liberal minded, more just and more sympathetic with each decade. They are growing less prone to gossip. But men are keeping up the average. When next you hear a bit of gossip, look up its source. Ten to one, you will find it started with a man. —Ella Wheeler Cox, 1914

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Etiquette and Russian Tea Festival

Gay Costumes, Music and Tea-Drinking Have Caught the Popular Fancy


Gay Costumes, Music and Tea-Drinking Have Caught the Popular Fancy

The second day of the Russian tea festival, held in the parlors of the Graeco - Russian Church, under the auspices of the ladies of the church, for the Indian famine sufferers, was even more successful than the first. 

Hundreds of people, attracted by the pretty tea girls in their charming Eastern costumes and the music and mirth that pervaded the whole place, gathered around the tables and enjoyed the tea that had been carried nearly around the world and was served from massive samovars by charming maids and matrons. 

The scene at night was partlcularly charming, the costumes of the ladies under the bright lights giving a kaleidoscopic effect as they glided in and out among the assembled guests. Mrs. Metropolsky and Mrs. Krasoff presided at the samovars. 

The costumes of the tea girls were as follows: Mrs. O. C. Schroder, Roumanian; Miss Mary Dabovich, Serbian; Miss G. Ayov, Syrian; Misses Natalie and Alexandria Metropolsky, Russian; Miss Krasoff, North Russian Peasant; Miss Lizzie Kashevnikoff and Miss Valentine Ligda, Russian; Miss George and Miss Holtz; Roumanian. 

The musical programme yesterday afternoon and last night was very entertaining. George Leron and Mr. Warren played the piano and violin, respectively; the Misses Sophia and Lucy Czarnecke rendered a charming vocal duet and Miss Mary Burin entertained at the piano in the afternoon. 

Professor Moser's Zither Club was an attraction in the evening. Father Popoff made a hit by singing a bass solo, and the Russian church choir sang several national hymns and popular Russian songs. Vocal solos were given by Miss Lottie Irving, Mrs. Irving and Mrs. Whitney. 

To-day will be the last day of the festival and the ladies expect to have a big crowd to take care of this afternoon. There will be a special programme, full of novelties for those who have not attended a Russian tea drinking. Everybody is invited to be present — San Francisco Call, 1900

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Etiquette and Russian Tea

"A Russian tea will be given this afternoon by Mrs. W. L. Hardison of South Pasadena. Russian laces imported by Madame Vera de Blumenthal will be on exhibition and girls In Russian costumes will serve tea. Two hundred and fifty invitations have been issued and the proceeds will be given to the peasnnt women of Russia." —Los Angeles Herald, 1906
As it's International Hot Tea Month, try some tea from a Russian samovar. — There is a beverage called "Russian Tea" which likely originated in the Southeastern United States, where is it traditionally served at social events during Advent and Christmastide. This U.S. "Russian Tea" probably has no link to actual Russian tea customs, though. Recipes vary, but the tea is served hot and often as an after-meal beverage. Prior to the revolution in Russia, "Russian Tea Rooms," "Samovar Tea Rooms" and Russian restaurants flourished, and were quite fashionable, throughout the United States in the early 19OO's. 
January is International Hot Tea Month so try the Samovar Tradition

Since the 17th century, when the custom of drinking tea migrated to Russia from China, Russians have taken the tradition of enjoying tea to heart, focusing on the samovar. Tea is an extremely significant part of Russian culture. In Russia is not just a beverage – it’s a social activity with a long-reaching tradition behind it.

A samovar is a large metal urn that heats water with burning charcoal or wood, or, more recently, electricity. On top rests a teapot in which a strong tea is brewed. Each cup is served by diluting this concentrate with hot water from the samovar’s spigot, then sweetening it with honey, sugar or jam.

Supremely functional and almost ubiquitous (in homes, offices and restaurants, aboard trains, even on street corners), samovars are beloved works of art.

A samovar in the center of the table symbolizes home, comfort and good times. Families traditionally gathered around their tables on Sunday afternoons to share strong tea, a meal and news of their week. Modern samovars are heated electrically.

Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Penmanship

A person who has self-respect as well as respect for others, should never carelessly write a letter or note. — It's National Handwriting Day, established by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 1977. January 23rd was chosen because this is the birthday of John Hancock. John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.

A French writer says, that the writing a note or letter, the wording of a regret, the prompt or the delayed answering of an invitation, the manner of a salutation, the neglect of a required attention, all betray to the well-bred, the degree or the absence of good-breeding. A person who has self-respect, as well as respect for others, should never carelessly write a letter or note.


The letter or note should be free from all flourishes. The rules of punctuation should be followed as nearly as possible, and no capital letters used where they are not required. Ink-blots, erasures, and stains on the paper are inadmissible. Any abbreviations of name, rank or title are considered rude, beyond those sanctioned by custom. 

No abbreviations of words should be indulged in, nor underlining of words intended to be made emphatic. All amounts of money or other numbers should be written, reserving the use of numerical figures for dates only. It is a good form to have the address of the writer printed at the top of the sheet, especially for all business letters. 

For letters of friendship and notes, pure white paper and envelopes are in better taste than tinted or colored, and the paper should be of a superior quality. When a page is once written from left to right side, it should not be written over again from top to bottom.


No attention should ever be paid to anonymous letters. The writers of such stamp themselves as cowardly, and cowards do not hesitate to say or write what is not true when it suits their purpose. All statements made in such letters should be regarded as false, and the writers as actuated by some bad motives. Anonymous letters should be burned at once, for they are not to be noticed.


The writing of notes in the third person is generally confined to notes of invitation, and such notes are never signed.

When a letter is upon business, commencing "Sir" or "Dear Sir," the name of the person addressed may be written either at the beginning or at the close of the letter, in the left hand corner. In letters commencing with the name of the person to whom you are writing, as, "My Dear Mrs. Brown," the name should not be repeated in the left hand corner.

No notes should be commenced very high or very low on the page, but nearer the top than the middle of the sheet.
— Florence Hartley, 1860

Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette of Women Smokers

The Russian, Sobranie cigarette brand is one of the oldest luxury tobacco brands in the world. Sobranie of London was established in 1879 when smoking cigarettes became fashionable in Europe. Blended from a secret formula, the original cigarettes were handmade in the Russian tradition. Sobranie was the supplier of the Imperial Court of Russia, and of royal courts of Great Britain, Spain, Romania, and Greece. 

Women Smokers in Paris... This May Be Seen in All the Smart Hotels, Cafés and Restaurants

In these days when the congeniality of women and the cigarette is being so heatedly discussed on this side of the water, it is interesting to read this pen picture by the Paris correspondent of Vogue in regard to the prevalence of the habit on the Riviera; 

The habit prevails everywhere. In all the smart hotels, cafés and restaurants I have entered, and they are many. I have seen at tea time, after dinner, and after supper late at night, correct-appearing women of all ages, with equally correct men, sit calmly lighting with growing gestures, their tiny Russian cigarettes. 

Other women, women one counts out, do the same thing differently. Their gestures are more pronounced, their attitude more coquettlsh — their pretty feet are perhaps crossed, revealing dainty embroidered lingerie skirts and lace stockings to match their gowns. They make much of the pretty poses taken in the frequent lighting of their gold-tipped cigarettes from the wax taper held by an obsequious attendant. 

It is a living picture, and an interesting one — like a page from a French novel. When first I saw women of conventional manners smoke in a public room it was at the beginning of my stay here. I was sitting alone over my tea in the palm-shaded, flower-decked, tearoom of a great hotel, idly listening to sweet music from a hidden band. 

Just opposite me sat two women, unmistakably English, and, after the manner of many traveling English-women, rather dowdy in dress. A puff of smoke caught my eye; one had lighted a cigarette, the other was carefully selecting one from a carved sliver cigarette case. I looked about with interest, wondering what was going to happen. 

At the next table, I saw as I turned my head, a beautiful dark-browed woman, splendidly gowned in embroidered white cloth and wearing draped gracefully over her ams, a long, straight ermlne-llned velvet scarf. She lifted her hand with a slight gesture which brought a waiter to her side with a tiny tray of cigarettes. Daintily she selected one, lighted it, then leaned back luxuriously into the soft depths of the big easy chair to watch serenely the wreaths of smoke float above her head. — Lompoc Journal, 1908

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Japanese Etiquette News

 Pasadena's Gurinalda Hotel, ca. 1907 — "Pasadena’s Japantown was established in the early 1900’s... While some Japanese immigrants became more conversant in English, they often branched into related businesses, such as wholesale and retail produce, grocery stores, nurseries, and gardening. Also, many found work in domestic services as houseboys, laundry service, cafes, and boarding houses." From

Japanese Immigrant Starts Daily Paper to Instruct in Etiquette, Morals and Customs

Pasadena, CA. 1910 —A Japanese daily paper of four pages has been started in this city by Maurice Tanahi, an employee of Hotel Gurinalda and former student of the Congregational Japanese mission on South Marengo Avenue. 

Editor Tanahi is 20 years of age and has been in this country four years. He says he will endeavor to instruct his people in American etiquette, morals and customs. He declares that to win success the Japanese must lay aside Oriental customs. He says he will confine his editorials largely to educational development. — Los Angeles Herald, 1910

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, January 22, 2016

Etiquette and Vauxhall Tea Gardens

Depiction of the infamous Vauxhall Tea Gardens, which were opened in 1732. 

In the early 18th century, when the popularity of tea spread in Great Britain, it became an essential part of one's entertainment outside of one's home. 

Tea gardens were rapidly opening all over England on Saturdays and Sundays, with tea being served as a high point of the afternoon. An evening spent dancing or watching fireworks in Vauxhall Gardens was finished off with tea being served. 

From the tea gardens, soon came the idea of the tea dance. Dance was included as a part of the day's festivities. Tea dances remained fashionable until World War II when they lost popularity. But tea dances are still held in the UK today.

The charge for entrance to fashionable tea gardens, such as Vauxhall, included tea with bread and butter, which were welcome refreshments after the day's entertainment. But it was steady urban growth in the early 19th century,that led to the closure of the gardens, leaving the taverns, 
inns, hostelries, etc... as the only establishments still serving tea.

Tea eventually began to play an important role in the British temperance movement. In 
an attempt to convert drinkers and to raise money for the cause, the battle against the consumption of extremely high levels of alcohol (most popularly gin) was organized at tea meetings, held all over Britain. It is naturally believed that 'teetotal' was derived from the beverage.

A portion of the flamboyant sentimentalist, Nikolai Karamzin (Letters of a Russian Traveller 1789-1790), description of Vauxhall: 
"The London Vauxhall brings together people of every social standing - lords and lackeys, fine ladies and harlots. Some come here as actors, others as spectators. 
I visited all the galleries and looked at all the pictures, whose themes have been taken either from Shakespeare's dramas or from recent English history. The walls of the large rotunda, where music is given in rainy weather, are covered with mirrors from floor to ceiling. Wherever you look, you see ten living portraits of yourself. 
At about twelve o'clock supper was served in the pavilions, and horns sounded in the groves. Never in my life have I seen so many people seated at table. It looked like some kind of magnificent feast. We chose a pavilion, too, and ordered chicken, anchovies, cheese, butter, and a bottle of claret. This cost about six rubles. 
Vauxhall is two miles from London, and in summer is open every evening. One pays forty kopecks to enter. I returned home at dawn, completely satisfied with the whole day."
 Partial sources include the UK Tea and Infusion Association  and Twinings Tea

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia