Advert for the Old Established China, Glass and Earthernware Warehouse
Printer: Hill, G
Medium: Print on paper
Dinner parties were important social events for the middle classes of 19th century Britain, particularly in the mid-Victorian period when women were generally not allowed to enter restaurants. The presentation of the food was as important as the quality, and etiquette books of the time placed great stress upon the need for numerous sets of cutlery and specific plates and bowls for individual courses. Above all, there was the tyranny of the 'matching set': if a single plate or bowl was broken in a set, the hostess would often have to buy a complete dinner service as replacement.