Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hey Moustache Fancy a Cuppa

What were washed, brushed, combed, dyed, and curled by Victorian gentlemen? Moustaches!

It must have taken them hours if not weeks to create these styles with a little help from using wax, nets (we girls called them snoods and put the hair of our heads in them), mustache brushes, combs, and mustache scissors. Mustaches were grown in all shapes and sizes, and the amount of stiff pomade that must have been  required to hold the hairs in place led to many drawing room disasters.

Problems arose when going for afternoon tea parties. Steam from the hot drinks melted their mustache wax and sent it dribbling down the chin,(attractive) sometimes streaked with dye, (doubly attractive) dribbling right into their cup along with the by then droopy mustache.  The other dilemma was that coffees and teas would stain and discolour the bottoms of many mustaches. I would be reaching for the razor about now!

An English potter in around 1830 named Harvey Adams introduced the first mustache cup. The cup had a ledge called a “mustache guard” that stretched across the inside of the cup from rim to rim. The guard had one semicircular opening against the rim of the cup to allow the user’s mustache to rest safely on the guard. The invention of the mustache cup spread over Europe until most potters featured a product with a similar design. Between the years 1850-1900, famous manufacturers such as Meissen, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Bayreuth, Limoges and others created their own versions of this masculine tableware. Can you imagine a good snog with some of these! I think not. As for some of the cups they are very attractive and I just can't seem to visualise any of these guys trying to drink from them, can you?
Well then again!!!

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