Sunday, September 8, 2019

Victorian Sealing Wax Etiquette

Don't seal any letters that are going to tropical or very warm countries. The post-office authorities will usually reject them, as the sealing wax may melt and do damage to other mail.

Fashion Even Governs its Style and Colors

The latest pretty fancy is in the use of sealing-wax on feminine correspondence, and not a little time and taste have been expended in thinking out all the curious details of wax etiquette. To bride’s is devoted the white wax that, from the dealers in French stationery, is to be bought impregnated with an odor of orange flower, while embossed on the slender sticks of wax are flowered wreaths of the bridal blossoms. There can now be no mistake in distinguishing a young wife’s letter in the piles of one’s correspondence. When the honeymoon is over and the commonplace duties of life are once again assumed, madam’s letter-wax takes on a more practical tint, and her envelope flaps are held by disks of dark green, red, blue, brown, yellow or violet wax. 

For regular correspondence and small notes one chosen shade is invariably employed, but tact and discrimination are shown by sealing all written dinner invitations with a rich brown wax, sparkling with glints of gold perhaps. A note bidding her women friends to luncheon is distinguished by a red seal; for afternoon tea, gray-green is the proper shade; for balls, white wax touched with gold specks is proper. The wax, however, is only used to hold in safety in the envelope a written card or folded note. Engraved invitations must be trusted to the mucilage-flap for security. 

For widows, the laws for the use of sealing-wax are severe, indeed. Dead, lusterless black is the proper form, so long as the letter-paper wears a black border. When the border and long veil are replaced by cheerfuller signs, the wax brightens to a sober, cold clear gray. Then a pinkish gray, then lavender, violets, and at last, the familiar and brighter colors. These rules, says the authority, hold good in any other senses of bereavement. Young girls employ tinted perfumed wax, pale blue heliotrope, Nile green and buttercup yellow, and never use a more elaborate stamp than their initials. – Philadelphia Times, 1892

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

No comments:

Post a Comment