I am not sure where this idea came for me today with the exception that one of the first things I saw this morning as I came down stairs was our guest book on the hunt table in the hall.  Oh my, another small idea just floated through my head.  I am like a crow who sees a sparkly item and flits from one thing to another.007

A hunt table, which many of you have no idea what is it, is a high longer than normal slim table.  It was used in the old days as a sideboard for foods for after a hunt.  Today it is commonly used, due to its slim width, in a hall for a lamp or behind a sofa for a lamp as well.  Ours is old with a glass top.  It is about ten inches wide and 48″long.

Years ago you could get a whole collection for a reasonable price from Montgomery Wards or Sears.  The set had two end tables and a long low coffee table.  You could add an additional octagonal end table with another low octagonal coffee table and a hunt table.  I do not think any of them cost much more than $100 or $125-50 each.  We had a living room and family room and a hall so throughout the course of time we now have all the pieces.  They are wood and glass with lattice bottom shelves. I know you know what I am talking about.  If you did not have them someone you knew did!  Perhaps a picture?

Our hunt table is at the bottom of our stairs.  It is below an oak mirror that actually has a matching bench.  The bench is serving a utilitarian position for seating in our family room.  The long table fits nicely under it and holds, back to the first thought, our guest book.

No one, or rarely, has a guest book available anymore.  The guest book used to be in the foyer of every home in the Victorian age.  People would come for a visit either short or overnight and leave their names and addresses, the date and perhaps even a short comment about their visit in these books.  Ours has been sitting on a table in the entry (sometimes it was not fancy enough to be called a foyer) of our home for a long time. It has been at least for over ten years.  The last entry was made by my sister-in-law in 2012.  There are no more entries as I do not believe people are aware of the significance of this book.  A nice perhaps quaint custom gone.

As I thought of this while getting coffee and thinking of my day I thought of my new business cards.  At my age I am foolishly 005starting  new skincare business.  I found a product I really like and if I am going to use it I thought I might as well sell it to defray some of my own expense.  It is not a party product.  Most of the selling and buying is through the internet and networking.  If someone I approach does not need it perhaps they know someone who does.  The company Rodan + Fields is owed by the same two doctors that produced and sold Proactiv®.  Their thought was if they could do wonderful things for acne why not do the same for people who have skin (we all do don’t we) that is open to the elements and aging.  It is a terrific product and has done wonders for my aging face.  I had a lady in a local donut shop, during a conversation, who could not believe I was celebrating my 67th birthday!  Good stuff!!!

The business card I believe came from “calling cards”.  Again back in the Victorian times if not before when people would visit or “call” on one another they would leave a “calling card” in a tray on a table in the hall of the residence.  If you were wealthy the tray was usually silver.  I think I might find a piece of silver-plate and stick it next to my book!  There I go again – the sparkly object got me off course.

“Calling cards”  often simply had a short message or picture with the name of the owner of the card.  If you were wealthy the letters were probably embossed. The card would be presented upon arrival or left if there was no one home to receive the person making the call.  A call by the way is a visit.  Another part of the etiquette was that a call would not be made until the card had been sent before and an invitation issued back via card.  If no card was returned then the person was given the very obvious information that they were not welcomed.

There was a whole etiquette around cards.  If you came in person you folded down the upper right hand corner.  If you stopped by to offer congratulations for something you folded down the upper left hand corner.  If you are saying good-bye you fold the lower right hand corner.  The lower left fold offered condolences.  If a young lady wished to have a young man escort her home she could give him her card.  A married woman was to not ever leave her card without leaving her husband’s card as well.  Men carried their cards in their vest pockets.  Women had lovely small cases for which to carry theirs.  It all sounds so lovely and calm and peaceful.  I could go on for paragraphs about the politeness of the Victorian age and need not as most have read Jane Austin or Bronte or Dickens to belie the facts that all was not well all the time.

They did have some nice customs.  Today we have the telephone and internet.  Of which none of mine are working due to a storm last night.  I suppose I could do some cleaning.  Alas like the loss of the cards and guest books of the Victorian Age, maids are not as common either.  Not that I could have one – it is simply a nice thing I can think of as I dust and vac this humble abode!!!




By ktsquared Posted in Trivia

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