Whist was an enormously popular pastime among ladies of the Victorian era. A predecessor to Bridge, Whist once provided hours of after-dinner entertainment. Gathered around the table, friends and family would while away the evening with this simple card game. How to Play Whist: The game is played with a 52-card deck (ace high). Four... Continue Reading →
You may wonder how the Victorians entertained themselves before the invention of radio and television. Why, fern hunting, of course! Victorians were obsessed with ferns. Up until the nineteenth century, ferns were rare in England. To the Victorians, these plants captured the mystery and majesty of another era. Naturalist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward was the first... Continue Reading →
The Music Box For a person of means in the Victorian era, a music box was central to the parlor. In fact, unless blessed with a musically talented family member, a household’s primary source of musical entertainment was the music box. These beautiful musical units, crafted by jewelers, were reminiscent of tinkling church bells. Unfortunately,... Continue Reading →
The "Gibson Girl" was a pen-and-ink drawing by New York artist Charles Dana Gibson that first appeared in the 1890s. Characterized by her hourglass figure and soft hair piled into a chignon, the Gibson Girl represented the ideal American girl.
“It is to be all out of doors, a table spread in the shade, you know. Everything as natural and simple as possible.” –Jane Austen While a picnic in Jane Austen’s time may have been a simpler affair, simplicity was certainly not the Victorians’ strong point. By the late 1800s, a picnic hamper often contained... Continue Reading →
Forever in pursuit of the beautiful and obscure...the latest obsessions from your friends at Victorian Trading Co. Melissa...Foundress & Hopeless Romantic “Ah, to sprawl on a pieced cotton quilt under a shade tree… I stock my wicker hamper with epicurean olives, sharp cheese, cherries, chilled ginger beer and dark chocolate toffee.” SHOP —Two-of-a-Kind Heart Picnic Basket... Continue Reading →
The ancient rite that is May Day originated in the English countryside before the Middle Ages as a celebration of the halfway point between spring and summer. But it is perhaps best remembered as a popular Victorian festivity. On May 1st, children and young women would gather wildflowers to be woven into garlands and arranged in baskets. Maidens would dab their... Continue Reading →