victorian era

My niece, Chantel Balcerzak has been having a wonderful year. Her daughter, Siara Kirk and Siara’s husband, Chris bought that house next door to Chantel and her husband, Dave earlier this year. They quickly renovated the house, because they were having a baby boy named Nathaniel Andrew Kirk on January 15, 2024. It has been so nice for Chantel and Dave to have them living right next door, because Chantel and Siara are very close. Now that baby Nathaniel is a couple of months old, Siara is getting ready to go back to work, he will be spending his days with his grandma and his daddy. While it will be really hard on Siara, she knows that her sweet boy will be is good hands and having fun. I have always thought it would be cool to have my grandchildren live within walking distance of me. Of course, that doesn’t always work out, but the most important thing is to be close to them in hearts, if not in distance. One is as important as the other. I’m so excited for Chantel to have this precious time with her newest grandson.

Besides being a grandmother, Chantel is an amazing artist. We have several in our family. I, however, am not one of them. Nevertheless, I very much appreciate the work of those artists around me. Chantel has a kind heart, that sees the beauty around her. Her home reflects the beauty that is in her spirit…and a beautiful spirit it is. Chantel has a gentleness that not everyone possesses. It is just a part of who she is. Some people just seem to belong in a gentler time…and Chantel is one of those. Even her home reflects that. I always think that her home has a Victorian flair to it. Personally, I love the Victorian era designs. I’m not sure exactly what Chantel’s design style of choice is, but I think that whatever you might call it, I would call is very pretty. She has even helped Siara with the decoration of her new home. Siara shares many of her mom’s artistic abilities. They have decorated a few places together, and both are very capable.

Chantel has truly embraced the role of grandmother. She as several other grandchildren too, and she enjoys spending time with all of them. Chantel is young at heart. I think she always will be. That has made her a great mom and grandmother. Chantel is my first niece. She was always a sweet little diva, and fashionista. Maybe it was her artistic abilities showing themselves at a very young age. I’m sure it was. Chantel hasn’t really changed all that much over the years, after all. Today is Chantel’s birthday. Happy birthday Chantel!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Through the years, there have been items used that we would not use today, and in fact, we might actually laugh at them. One such item is the “mustache cup.” The mustache cup made it’s debut in the Victorian era. During that time, the men with mustaches didn’t want their mustache being dipped into their tea, so the cups were made with a bow-shaped guard to keep the mustache out of the tea.

For those of us without a mustache and those of this era, the possibility of dipping the mustache into the tea was given little, if any thought…even for those with mustaches. “The moustache cup (or mustache cup) is a drinking cup with a semicircular ledge inside. The ledge has a half moon-shaped opening to allow the passage of liquids and serves as a guard to keep moustaches dry. It is generally acknowledged to have been invented in the 1860s by British potter Harvey Adams (born 1835).” The new invention spread all over the European continent and soon, every famous potter was making the new cups. A multiplicity of mustache cups were made by famous manufactories such as Meissen, Royal Crown Derby, Imari, Royal Bayreuth, Limoges, and others. Each potter created his own version of this masculine tableware and the news of that invention soon spread to America.

The Victorian era was a time when the mustaches flourished. In fact, from 1860 to 1916, the British military actually required all of its soldiers to sport a mustache for the authority it imparted to the man with the mustache. Special care was given to the mustache, including mustache wax, which was applied to the moustache to keep it stiff, with every hair in place. When drinking hot liquids, steam from the drink would melt the wax, which would drip into the cup. Sipping hot tea or coffee would also often stain mustaches. Knowing that makes the usage of the mustache cup a little more sensible, and not just some weird passing fad.

Many mustache cups were made in America over the years, with the earliest marked with names which led buyers to believe they were actually manufactured in England. English-made ceramics were very popular…not so much American-made ceramics. So, with the exception of the quadruple silver plate mustache cups made in the United States, it is extremely difficult to find an authentic Victorian mustache cup bearing an American pottery mark these days.

The mustache cup began to go out of style between 1920 and 1930, and so mustache cup production trickled to a halt. Today, with the collectors of all things antique, these examples of Victorian male elegance are coveted by a growing number of enthusiasts. There are also still those who use mustache wax, and it would seem that the mustache cup is still an item of necessity for these men.

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