I'm certainly "Very Victorian"! Everything in my house is of a victorian style with peach, roses and lace. Most men don't really care for the victorian style, however, the way I decorate, my husband actually loves it! I also have lots of antiques, which my husband has also acquired a taste for. We have a couple of pretty good sites called Sonya's Tea For Two and "Marvelicious Antiques & Collectibles" Page. This page lists a few of my favorite items! I hope you enjoy our little touch of Southern Victorian Charm. Don't forget to leave your calling card!

Women And Roses

I Dream of a red-rose tree.
And which of its roses three
Is the dearest rose to me!

Round and round, like a dance of snow
In a dazzling drift, as its guardians, go
Floating the women faded for ages,
Sculptured in stone, on the poet's pages.
Then follow women fresh and gay,
Living and loving and loved to-day.
Last, in the rear, flee the multitude of maidens,
Beauties yet unborn. And all, to one cadence,
They circle their rose on my rose tree.

������Robert Browning, 1812-1889...

Victorian Letter Writing

The proper Victorian lady had the ability to write a good and attractive letter. Letter writing wasn't just a means of communication, it was essentially the only means of sharing information and news. It was also a social obligation, a talent that the woman of the house was expected to acquire and cultivate, naturally or through practice.

The basic accomplishments for letter writing were paper, pencils, pens, ink, envelopes, stamps and sealing wax. The correct sort of stationery was crucial to making a suitably genteel impression, but the definition of acceptable stationery changed with every decade. Colored notepaper with flowers in the corner was in common use in the 1850's, but by the turn of the century only thick, white or cream tinted, unruled paper was considered tasteful. Monogrammed stationery enjoyed a vogue in the mid-1800's, but by the end of the century, it was out of fashion.

Specific advise was available for every type of letter one could ever wish to write. Here are some basic dos and don'ts:

  • Don't write anonymous letter;
  • Don't conduct private correspondence on a postal card;
  • Don't use lined paper for formal letters;
  • Don't write on a half-sheet of paper for the sake of economy;
  • Don't underline words;
  • Don't erase misspelled words in letters of importance; recopy the entire letter;
  • Don't use a postscript except in very friendly letters;
  • Don't fill up margins with forgotten ideas and messages but instead add an extra sheet to the letter;
  • Give every subject a separate paragraph;
  • Don't refold the letter.  Be sure to fold it correctly the first time.
  • Read the letter over carefully before sending.

In this day of computer and email, it is difficult to remember that once everyone, from the famous authors of weighty, three-volume novels to the most obscure correspondence, wrote every single word by hand.  When they were inspired, the writers of the 19th century took pen in hand, dipped the point into an inkwell and set their ideas on plain paper.

Article By Kari Geiger
"With Pen in Hand"
Victorian Decorating & Lifestyle Magazine
March 2000

Parasols

Parasols were the most romantic accessories and a very in flirtatious fashion. The first parasols could have been seen in 1740. The lady strolled around town, propping her open parasol on one shoulder. Because others had never seen anything like this, they followed her around and made fun of her.

A century later, no one would have noticed a victorian lady carrying a sunshade. If she was riding in a carriage, she would made sure her driver pulled down its convertible top, so that her parasol was conspicuous, clearly indicating her class and position to everyone she passed. All early parasols were costly luxuries, whose ribs were fashioned out of expensive bone, which was the same material used in corsets. By the 19th century, as parasols evolved into an essential item in a lady's wardrobe, their prices became affordable, although they were far from cheap. A truly fashionable lady carried a different one for each outfit, however, because they were so precious and so expensive, parasols became one of the most popular gifts for a lover to give his sweetheart. Like jewelry, they were not a proper present for a young man unless his intentions were serious and would not be accepted by a lady unless she intended to accept the giver as well. Often a parasol was part of the groom's wedding gift to his bride. The parasol became outmoded in the 1920's when a tanned complexion replaced pale skin as a stutus symbol, indicating that its owner did not have to work and could lie around on the beach all day.

Article By Kristina Harris
"Flirtatious Fashions"
Victorian Decorating & Lifestyle Magazine
June/July 1998

Victorian Fans

For victorian ladies, the fan spoke a secret language of love and was the most elegant accessory a lady could carry. The flutter of a fan was sometimes an elaborate code with definitions as precise as the Victorian language of flowers. At other times, its messages were sent in little gestures that punctuated the most conventional remark, would hide a blush or added something for a seemingly innocent glance. These fans were made of lace, silk, leather, feathers, leaves, paper, ivory and wood.

The fan had been a means of conveying intimate thoughts. The flutters were described as the timorous flutter, the confused flutter, the amorous flutter, and even an angry flutter. Fluttering a fan at different speeds could indicate anything from rage, to interest, to the most languid indifference. A folded fan that was touched to milady's chin, told a gentleman that she found him attractive; touching the tip of a folded fan to one's lips was an unspoken declaration of love. Even the way a fan was closed could send a message. Snapping it shut was a curt dismissal; flickering it shut was a sudden slap to the palm and ended all conversation with it warning that one was being watched!

Article By Marian A. Doyle
"The Flutter Of A Fan"
Victorian Decorating & Lifestyle Magazine
June/July 1998

Victorian Hatboxes

Decorative oval boxes made of thinly sliced wood or pasteboard, were making a fashion statement during the William Shakespeare era. Much like most clothing trends, eventually they became obsolete. However, the charm and practicality of bandboxes never went out of style. In the United States, early in the 19th century, manufacturers (particularly on the East Coast) began crafting bandboxes covered with wallpaper and lined with newspaper. They were an affordable luxury that became treasure troves for hats, gloves, lace, buttons, jewelry, love notes and other trinkets dear to our hearts. Most ladies boarding a stagecoach, steamship or train could be seen carrying Bandboxes in her arms as luggage. However, due to their fragile pasteboard and paper constructions, very few boxes survived the passage of time spend on their trip. Authentic antique bandboxes that were long ago relegated to attics and basements are now beginning to resurface.

Article By Debra Muller Price
"Bandbox Revival"
Victorian Decorating & Lifestyle Magazine
October 1999

How To Make a Victorian Hatbox

Above you will see that I have made my own Victorian Hatbox, however, this was done from scratch with computer graphics. Below you will find instructions to make your own Hatbox to display fashionable in your home. It is easy to customize a hatbox to match your room decor.

  • Spray the exterior of a hatbox form purchased from a craft store with either a wood tone stain or color paint.
  • Use spray glue to affix wallpaper border or wrapping paper around the interior walls of the box. Look for classic designs, such as paisleys, astronomy, geographical maps, crocodile exterior or newspaper. Instead of spray painting the exterior, try covering it in paper, photocopies of family or travel pictures, postcards, old letters, or ports of entry stamps. You may also use wallpaper used in the room you plan to store the decorative box.
  • Hot glue contrasting braided trim to the outside lip of the hatbox lid.
  • If you wish, insert a few upholstery tacks along the lid's exterior.
  • Finish by attaching a single tassel.
  • Follow this process to decorate a hinged box to hold photos, mementos, a truffle or sweets box.
  • Victorian Hatbox Books

    Make Your Own Decorative Boxes With Easy-To-Use Patterns
    Easy-To-Make Decorative Boxes and Desk Accessories
    Paper Crafting Beautiful Boxes, Book Covers & Frames
    Making Romantic Fabric-Covered Boxes

    Calling or Courtesy Cards

    For much of the nineteenth century, cards were an integral part of everyday life. In fact, the last half of the century could be called "The Golden Age of Cards," because so many different varieties were used for so many different purposes. The social life of the era was dominated by the custom of paying calls at designated hours and times, and no call was complete unless the caller left his or her card. Men usually carried cards tucked in their vest pockets. Ladies kept theirs in elegant cases, sometimes made of silk, leather, ivory, tortoise shell or silver. Etiquette dictated that a lady left her card (and her husband's, if she was married, even if he wasn't with her) for the lady of the house. She also left one for each of the adult daughters. In time, an intricate code evolved by which the corners or ends of the card were folded to indicate the nature and purpose of the call. The colorful, decorative cards left by visitors were prominently displayed in a special bowl or tray kept on a table near the front door.

    Etiquette books carefully contained the proper uses of calling cards. In some instances, the rules were followed very strictly and were almost like laws. Examples of what the proper lady or gentleman had to know were:

  • The gentlemen's card should bear only the name and address of the caller

  • A man and his wife sometimes used a joint card. Each also had cards with their individual names for other occasions.

  • Mother and daughter often used the same card when visiting together.

  • Honorary titles such as Esq., Hon., etc. were not permitted on the calling cards.

  • Before leaving town for a length of time, one notified their acquaintances by leaving a card that stated P.P.C., or *presents parting compliment*. These cards could be sent by mail or courier.

  • For those in mourning, calling cards contained no decorations and were bordered in black.

  • Turning down one corner of the calling card signified there was more than one woman in a family and the call was for the entire family.



  • Article By Kerra Davis
    "Courtesy Calls"
    Victorian Decorating & Lifestyle Magazine
    September 2000

    We are beginning a new venture in creating calling cards for you to use on your site or when you sign guestbooks. We also have a brand new Discussion Forum.

    Calling Cards by Marvelicious

    Fantastic Women

    Very Victorian Recommended Reading

    Sarah Ban Breathnach's Mrs. Sharp's Traditions
    Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations Of Comfort & Joy
    By Sarah Ban Breathnach

    The Victorian Home
    The Grandeur & Comforts of the Victorian Era, in Households Past & Present
    By Ellen M. Plante

    Wild Women
    Crusaders, Curmudgeons, & Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era

    The Victorian Lady
    By Alan Maley, Janna C. Walkup

    Celluloid Treasures of the Victorian Era
    Identification & Values
    By Joan Van Patten, Elmer Williams, Peggy Williams

    Collector's Guide to Victoriana
    (Wallace-Homestead Collector's Guide Series)
    By O. Henry MacE

    Victoria Calling Cards
    Creating Beautiful Business and Calling Cards
    By Editors of Victoria Magazine

    Victoria, Intimate Home
    Creating a Private World
    By Victoria

    Formal Victorian
    By Ellen M. Plante

    Victoria at Home With Roses
    By Jeanine Larmoty

    The Light of the Home
    An Intimate View of the Lives of Women in Victorian America
    By Harvey Green, Mary E. Perry, Margaret Strong

    Tussie-Mussies
    The Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers
    By Gerladine Adamich Laufer

    Tussie-Mussies
    The Language of Flowers
    By Gerladine Adamich Laufer

    Cynthia Hart's Victoriana 2009 Wall Calendar

    The Collectible Teapot & Tea Calendar 2009

     

    Shopping

    Marvel's E-Store

    Victorian Web Sites

    Annie's Calling Cards
    Carriage House Gifts
    Cheyne Walk Victorian and Musical Subjects
    Diane's Homepage
    Duttie's, Just Victorian
    Escape To Yesteryear
    Essence of Everything Victorian
    Hens Tooth
    Lady's Gallery Magazine
    My Scrap Album
    Tribute to Motherhood
    Victorian Art for Mother
    Victorian Graphics
    Victorian Recipes
    Victorian Station
    Victorian Trading Company
    Victorian Secrets
    Virtual Victorian Library

    Please leave your Calling Card in the tray!

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