The Victorian Dining Room

Elegant dining rooms in the nineteenth century served an important role in the social discourse of the Victorian household. They tended to be "masculine" spaces and typically were filled with solid, heavily carved sideboards and tables, and draped with rich, velvet curtains. Sideboards "groaned" with the weight of opulent silver serving pieces, set off by the jewel-like tones of colored art glass vases and bowls. There could never be too many objects; after all, these were rooms that were meant to impress. So it was perfectly fine to have silver asparagus tongs or orange slicers, sitting beside the silver spoon warmer in the shape of a shell. This richly colorful book is a visual journey through the nineteenth century dining room. From the sideboard to the tea table, the serving pieces, silver, glass, and unusual Victorian oddities are presented. Through over 200 photographs, it becomes clear why the whimsical, beautiful, and sometimes bizarre products of that inventive and colorful time continue to astound and fascinate us. Also included is a facsimile of "How to Set the Table," a rare booklet from 1901, which will help the reader understand the variety and uses of the Victorian table setting. A Value Guide completes the work.