Saturday, May 14, 2016

Menu Card Etiquette

The 1883 patent for this combination napkin ring and menu card holder was sold on the premise and promise that guests would be able to read it without picking it up before each new course.

Menu Card Etiquette

"Menus, printed, occasionally engraved, in script, or written in script-like handwriting in black ink, are always in French..."

Beluga Caviar 
Saumon Fume de Nova Scotia 
Pate de Foie Gras Naturel 
Consomme Printanier 
Celeri • Radis •  Olives 
Terrapin a la Union Club 
Filet de Boeuf larde roti 
Pommes Parisienne 
Asperges Hollandaise 
Salade du Jar din Petit Roquefort 
Gateau St. Honore • Petits Fours 
Moka Chocolats • Fruits Noix
Harvey's Bristol Dry Kentucky Bourbon 
Liebfraumilch Auslese 1945 
Old Pugh 1882 
Chateau Marquis de Terme 1923 
Old Jordan 1891 Cognac • Dom Perignon 1928 
April 26, 1949 

Menus, printed, occasionally engraved, in script, or written in script-like handwriting in black ink, are always in French, as we see them at large, formal, public functions in the best hotels. 

Sometimes a menu, with or without a heraldic device, is in its holder at each place, but one is always in front of the host and hostess and others are placed down the table with one for each three guests.

The commonest use of the coat of arms is on an ex libris, or bookplate, as a marking for silver, or on fine china, on wedding invitations and announcements, on place cards and menu cards for formal entertaining, and, of course, the device may be painted and framed for wall decoration. 

The full coat of arms shield with crest and
motto or what is known as a "gentleman's heraldic bearings" is never properly used on personal belongings by a woman. Women in medieval days did not normally go forth in battle and therefore did not carry shields. 

It is proper form in England, to which we must look for precedent as we have nothing resembling heraldic authority in our own governmental setup, for a woman to use a crest on her stationery, on personal linens, etc., but never a coat of arms on a shield. The lozenge, however, is approved, and if a British woman is titled she uses the coronet of her rank above it. 

But a woman of an armigerous family, especially is she is unmarried or a widow, may use just the crest or the coat of arms itself but only if blazoned on a lozenge.  

A woman whose father has a coat of arms, but whose husband has not, shows better taste, actually, in saying good-by to it and its feminine modifications once it has been used on her wedding invitations and announcements and, if she wishes, on silver her family has given her. 

A painted coat may be displayed on bedroom or library walls, not too conspicuously, but the device may not be adopted either by her husband or children. No woman ever uses a heraldic motto, for these were invariably aggressively masculine and unsuited to feminine social use. — Amy Vanderbilt, 1952

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

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