Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Manners are for Holidays and Everyday

Always use the soup spoon provided to eat as much soup as you can, before picking up the handled-cup to drink from it, leaving the used spoon resting on the accompanying saucer -“Soup should be dipped away, never toward the individual. If clear soup is served in cups, a small round bowled spoon is used, or the bouillon may be sipped from the cup.”

In Your Market Basket: A Lesson in Holiday Table Manners


Every newspaper editor often finds this kind of a query in the mail; 
Dear Editor—My early training in etiquette was much neglected. Now I have made a fortune, travel considerably and am often embarrassed by my Ignorance about table manners. Will you aid me? – Signed “Worried
Table manners are, of course, for the home table all of the year around, but it is at the holiday season when dinner engagements are most numerous, that a great many persons require a little extra preparedness. 

The experienced hostess will see that forks and spoons are placed in the order in which they are to be used. If the dinner is of many courses, the appropriate silver is laid with each course. 

Soup should be dipped away, never toward the individual. If clear soup is served in cups, a small round bowled spoon is used, or the bouillon may be sipped from the cup.

The knife should never be held in the left hand, but the fork may be transferred to the right hand. The English way of keeping the fork in the left hand is the present fashion among very fastidious society folk. 

At the end of the course the knife and fork should be placed side by side with the tips in the middle of the plate and the handles resting on its edge. —From Kiddi Bye in the San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram, December, 1916



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

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Attire and Etiquette for Billiards, 1918

Smoking is customary in the billiard-room, and ladies who are considerate will not object to it, though the courteous man will be careful to ask their consent. – A billiard room in a grand Gilded Age era mansion. Image source, Instagram
Billiards

In clubs and private houses where ladies are present and the lights are lit, evening dress with the dinner jacket is the most suitable and convenient dress for men billiard players. If there are no ladies about, coats are generally dispensed with.

Smoking is customary in the billiard-room, and ladies who are considerate will not object to it, though the courteous man will be careful to ask their consent.

No one should enter a billiard-room while a game is in progress, except between the strokes. Loud talking on the part of the spectators, or conduct of any kind which is liable to distract the attention of the players, is distinctly bad form.– From Emily Holt’s “Encyclopaedia of Etiquette,” 1918


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

Monday, September 25, 2023

Correct Dress for Cycling Men of 1918

Gray golf stockings, tastefully variegated with touches of black, white and sober blue, or brown hose with very fine crisscrossing lines in yellow and red, now predominate.

Bicycling Attire for Men

THOSE still faithful to the bicycle wear in cool spring and autumn weather, a complete suit-coat, waistcoat, and knickerbockers-of serviceable gray or brown tweed, the coat cut very like an English pea-jacket, or what we prefer in America to call a "lounging coat." Gray golf stockings, tastefully variegated with touches of black, white and sober blue, or brown hose with very fine crisscrossing lines in yellow and red, now predominate. High or half-high laced shoes of black or brown leather dress the feet in good taste. But as this is too heavy an attire for mid-summer weather, it gives place, in June, July, August, and September, to a suit of Russian crash, heavy brown linen, khaki serge, or light-weight flannel. – From Emily Holt’s “Encyclopaedia of Etiquette,” 1918


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

Sunday, September 24, 2023

A Little on Correspondence Etiquette

A 19th century lap desk, hidden inside what looks like a book of Shakespeare’s works. It opens to stow one’s stationary, pens, ink, etc… – Don’t underscore! “Underscoring is often carried to an absurd excess, especially by very young ladies, who italicize every other word and thus rob their emphasis of all real significance. No word should be underscored unless its importance is very great.”

The Closing of a Letter

Letters of a formal character should be closed with some formal expression, as "Your obedient servant." "Yours truly," "Yours very truly," and "Yours respectfully," are reserved for business letters. "Cordially yours," "Faithfully yours," "Affectionately yours," are familiar forms for use in friendly correspondence, but ingenious people will frame a now set of words for every occasion, fitting them, as Wilkins Micawber was wont to do, to the state of his mind or to the object of his letter.

Neatness

Great care should be taken to avoid blotting and blur. ring. It is neither a compliment to your correspondent nor to yourself to send a letter or note marred by splotches. and blurr of ink. It is also inexcusable to cross your lines, as if stingy of paper as well as indifferent to the eyes of the one to whom you write. The whole sheet may be filled, if desired, but criss-crossing must never be indulged.

Underscoring

Underscoring is often carried to an absurd excess, especially by very young ladies, who italicize every other word and thus rob their emphasis of all real significance. No word should be underscored unless its importance is very great. - From “Our Manners And Social Customs,” by Daphne Dale, 1891



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

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Chopstick Incompetency Crisis

 

“If some experts in this country are right, a fast growing number of people, most of them young, cannot properly use an implement so basic that it is virtually a symbol of Asia. A college professor who has studied the situation says that well over one-third of Japanese in their 30s and younger are chopstick incompetents.” 1984 – This unusual rice bowl, circa early 1990’s, has the etiquette for eating from a bowl and etiquette for chopstick use printed on the inside and outside of the bowl. 


Chopstick Incompetency Becomes Crisis for Japan

Chopsticks have become too much to handle for many Japanese, If some experts in this country are right, a fast growing number of people, most of them young, cannot properly use an implement so basic that it is virtually a symbol of Asia. A college professor who has studied the situation says that well over one-third of Japanese in their 30s and younger are chopstick incompetents. 

In a Ministry of Education report released last month, only 48.4 percent of elementary school pupils surveyed said they could correctly wield chopsticks, or hashi, as they are called in Japanese. The Tokyo police department has grown concerned enough to give recruits a crash course in chopstick use and etiquette. "We can't convince them to use chopsticks properly unless we tell them logically that using the hands is good for their brains and things like that,” one police inspector said. 

In this capital’s bustling Shinjuku section, a company called Office Create has gone into the hashi training business, offering two hours of instruction every week for three months. Fee: nearly $80. Department stores and supermarkets now stock “trainer chopsticks,” plastic devices with loops to show youngsters where to put their fingers. According to the manufacturer, Tohoku Kako, sales started to rocket late last year and now approach 10,000 pairs a day. “We expect our business to continue to do well," said Hiroyasu Ito, the company's sales director “Our target population 3 to 8 years old is as large as 8 million." 

Why all this has occurred is one of those questions that start arguments, but there is little dispute that the decline augurs ill for Japan. To some Japanese, chopsticks touch the national soul an outgrowth of the widely held belief that Japan prevails against bigger, better-equipped countries because its people are nimble and quick-witted “Many scholars attribute the dexterity of the Japanese people to hashi, and I myself think that has some validity," said Masaaki Yatagai, a professor at Keihin Women's University in Kamakura, south of Tokyo. His specialty is preschool education, especially how youngsters learn basic life skills.’’ 

“Some people.” Yatagai said, “even think that hashi are responsible for the dexterity and resourcefulness that helped bring about Japan’s economic boom. More than a few Japanese blame the chopstick decline on Western foods and the collateral reliance on knives and forks They cite the many youngsters who now learn to eat with an implement that has a fork on one end and a spoon on the other. Others say no, that the fault lies with an educational system that emphasizes test-taking ability to such an extent that it often ignores teaching children how to get through the day. Repeated studies show that fewer and fewer Japanese children are familiar with skills such as peeling an apple or sharpening pencils with a knife. Yatagai thinks they are all wrong. It isn't the education system or the two-headed fork-spoon or the advent of hamburgers in Japan, he said. 

In research performed in 1935, he noted, the average Japanese child learned to use chopsticks properly at the preschool age of 3. Now the average age has doubled, and many youngsters never attain proficiency “Parents just don’t want to admit that they’re the cause of the problem.” the professor said “They themselves can’t handle chopsticks properly of late.” None of this is meant to suggest that across Japan people are dropping food into their laps. As best as a casual observer can tell, that distinction is still left largely to foreign tourists. “Do you know how to use chopsticks?” is on the list of favorite Japanese questions to new acquaintances from the West.) It is the imprecision of the latter-day hashi technique that shocks the purists. 

The sticks should be held with one cradled between the thumb and index finger, the other planted between the index and middle fingers, with the middle finger kept between the two sticks Instead, many Japanese hold hashi like a pen, or place the sticks between the middle and ring fingers. or cross the sticks, or hold them much too low. To avert the accidents they risk with their poor technique, these people often keep their heads close to the plate This is called mugui dog-style. Some children have been known to spear food with chopsticks, a sin on a par in other countries with eating peas with a knife. – By Clyde Haberman, for the N.Y. Times News Service Tokyo, 1984


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

Friday, September 22, 2023

American Presidents on Silver

 Founded in 1890 by Timothy Tuttle, it has one claim to fame which is unusual in American silver; its method of marking each piece of its sterling. Every piece made bears a crescent and the initials of the incumbent President of the United States on the date of manufacture. This practice began about 1923 and still exists.– Above is a photo of Tuttle’s sterling flatware in the “Onslow” pattern, on display in the opening credits for the 1933 movie, “Dinner at Eight” – An opening I can really appreciate for a film. It shows how to set a table! 🍽️
The Tuttle name has been a rather shadowy one to American Silver lovers. Company records are sketchy as to complete pattern production and Wallace which owns the company cannot supply a full accounting of the inventory of Tuttle. In fact, it is only since 1955 when Wallace silversmiths bought the company and began to heavily advertise some of the patterns that the name has become familiar. The company is not particularly historic. It was founded in 1890 by Timothy Tuttle, but it has one claim to fame which is unusual in American silver; its method of marking each piece of its sterling. Every piece made bears a crescent and the initials of the incumbent President of the United States on the date of manufacture. This practice began about 1923 and still exists. All pieces also carry a pine tree in a circle, a copy of the early American coin the Pine Tree shilling.

Although Wallace seems not to have complete records of Tuttle patterns certainly the company never produced in great quantities. Tuttle reorganized in 1909 which speaks to some difficulties and may account for low production. Some of the patterns are highly individualistic and imaginative - the Paul Laremie and its slightly more elaborate reincarnation as Crest of Arden was stylized and ahead of its time. It is as different in feeling from Hannah Hull as two patterns made by the same company could ever be. 

The patterns of the 1920s are typical and mundane but in 1967 under the aegis of Wallace the company made BEAUVOIR, a still grossly under-appreciated silver pattern. As the company advertised it boasts "masterful sculpting" which is entirely true, its "massive weight" is also true. It is a magnificent pattern, all swags and florals, quite dramatic and beautiful. Another truth about Tuttle production is that most patterns are very heavyweight silver. The company made only sterling, never plated ware, and as with all specialists they did it very well.

The recent trend toward Georgian silver patterns proves that Tuttle was covering all bases when it released its Onslow pattern, a beautifully balanced example. This pattern completely embodies Tuttle's original philosophy. Timothy Tuttle was essentially a copyist. Unlike most American silversmiths who eventually outgrew their roots and moved toward their own styles - and in most cases surpassed the originals - Tuttle always returned to his early inspiration, and so much of the company's silver is traditional.

There is research to be done on Tuttle, a company which started late, and which has many gaps in its recorded history. Wallace, which owns it, is in difficulties itself but it has done very well by Tuttle. In recent years it has efficiently promoted Onslow, Hannah Hull and Beauvoir. Collectors should gear up for Tuttle - it's one of those companies little noticed but which will be long remembered, if not for its imagination at least for its quality. – From the 1993 book, “1830's-1990's American Sterling Silver Flatware,” by Maryanne Dolan


Reminder: We have a free webinar on Dining According to Hollywood and Dining Etiquette as Presented on Film! You can watch it live on September 23rd at 4:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time). We have a limited number of viewers who can attend via Zoom, however, if you are registered and cannot watch the event live, you’ll be sent a video link to watch a copy at your leisure. Link to the Free Webinar –– https://events.humanitix.com/dining-according-to-hollywood-the-art-of-dining-on-film Please email any questions to: theetiquettechannel@gmail.com



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

Thursday, September 21, 2023

More History of the Spoon

Depiction of “The Great Ivory Spoon of Ancient Egypt,” expressing in its decorative motif, the eternal mystery of Life. Very peculiar it has a shallow circular bowl and very short handle. — Photo of the image from the Reed and Barton book of 1926
THERE is plenty of evidence that the people of very early times concentrated along the borders of the sea and large bodies of water and from there migrated from the mouths of the rivers and streams inland, toward their sources. The shores of these waters provided shells which served as natural spoons with which to eat certain types of food. These were available long before man knew how to fashion metal into weapons or implements.
Stone knives were made at a very early time, but they were fairly clumsy and apparently were used for hunting rather than eating. This was true even long after metal was employed and spoons have been found as relics from the table dating from a long period before knives and forks began to appear.

The earliest reference to the making of a spoon of precious metal is recorded in the Bible, in the 25th Chapter of the Book of Exodus, wherein the Lord commanded Moses to make golden spoons for the Tabernacle. Excavations in Egypt have brought to light early examples of spoons, and history records that the Greeks and Romans used gold and silver spoons, both at the table and in the temple. Specimens are preserved in the European, Egyptian and American museums.—From, “The History of the Spoon, Knife and Fork,” by Reed and Barton, 1926


Reminder: We have a free webinar on Dining According to Hollywood and Dining Etiquette as Presented on Film! You can watch it live on September 23rd at 4:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time). We have a limited number of viewers who can attend via Zoom, however, if you are registered and cannot watch the event live, you’ll be sent a video link to watch a copy at your leisure. Link to the Free Webinar –– https://events.humanitix.com/dining-according-to-hollywood-the-art-of-dining-on-film Please email any questions to: theetiquettechannel@gmail.com


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

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Regency Era British Silver

Before mass production of table flatware, people needed to bring their own utensils with them to dinners and when traveling. – What Have We Here? A Regency Era, mother of pearl handled, pocket or travel fork, by Aaron Hatfield, in 1818 – The Prince Regent later became Great Britain’s, King Geaorge IV


On Regency Era British Flatware and Its Supporting Manufacturers

Although during the latter part of the eighteenth century Sheffield had taken most of the cutlery manufacturing away from London, the capital still maintained its role as the main showcase for the domestic market. Many of the cutlery companies of Sheffield and Birmingham felt obliged to have London showrooms.

In the earlier part of the century, the extravagant taste of the Prince Regent and his love of food reflected itself in the gifts he gave to members of his court and to his friends. Beautiful sets of cutlery, such as oyster knives, personalised with his crest and contained in a sumptuous box lined with tinsel paper, were among his favoured presents. The box- making industry, as part of the expanding gift business, was one of the most important ancillary trades in Sheffield. A number of companies made boxes for sets of dessert knives and forks, given as presents but seldom used by the recipient

Carving sets were another popular nineteenth-century gift. In earlier times to be assigned the office of Carver' at a rich man's table was considered a honour, a position of great importance which required skill and dexterity. It was a tradition which lasted until quite recently, although to a much lesser degree, when even in modest households the task of carving the joint (however small) on a Sunday was a ritual accomplished by the head of the family.

The market for carving sets flourished in the nineteenth century and once again the Sheffield cutlery trade met the demand, manufacturing attractive cased sets of carving knife, fork with patented finger-guard and sharpening hone and sometimes specialist game carvers. These sets, often of huge proportions, would have handles of stag or ivory, although later on in the century this was substituted by Ivorine, a trade name for Celluloid. Commemorative carving sets made for the upper end of the market, had ivory handles often carved in the likeness of Victoria and Albert, or of other famous people, such as Wellington and Shakespeare. – From “British Cutlery, An Illustrated History of Design, Evolution and Use”, York Civic Trust, 2001


Reminder: We have a free webinar on Dining According to Hollywood and Dining Etiquette as Presented on Film! You can watch it live on September 23rd at 4:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time). We have a limited number of viewers who can attend via Zoom, however, if you are registered and cannot watch the event live, you’ll be sent a video link to watch a copy at your leisure. Link to the Free Webinar –– https://events.humanitix.com/dining-according-to-hollywood-the-art-of-dining-on-film Please email any questions to: theetiquettechannel@gmail.com


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