Friday, November 8, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #5

At each place setting there was a Halloween version of the traditional Victorian Christmas cracker, complete with snaps. Each one had a different fashion plate from the 1901 Eaton's catalogue, either male or female, as appropriate for the guest.

Inside each cracker was a tiny bottle of snuff (for the men) and smelling salts for the ladies. 

The bottles were made from small dollar store bottles, and oh joy, with real corks to seal them. Instead of snuff I used ground tea leaves, and sea salt stood in for actual smelling salts. 

It was easy to make labels on the computer, print them off and give them a tea bath. They were then cut out and glued to each bottle. They looked surprisingly like authentic old labels. 

Also in each cracker was either a vintage tie pin or brooch, searched for and collected over the year at thrift shops, vintage sales and church bazaars. 

Instead of the traditional motto inside a Christmas cracker, there were old sayings along with their meanings and origins. They provided entertainment as guests took turns reading a couple of them between each course. For example, the origin of "gone to pot" comes from Elizabethan times and refers to meat that has past its prime and is only good for the stew pot.

 A selection of snaps and figures to be used in making the crackers along with the ribbons to tie them were gathered into a basket for convenience while assembling them. The scary novelties ended up in the loot cones that were given to each guest as they left, but more on those to come in a future post!

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