Wednesday, 4 September 2013
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Have you ever come across pastry napkins? or got any info. on them? I have had a query from an historian who has come across this description in a stately home inventory of a kitchen - She would be very grateful for any help in identifying them and hearing how they might have been used. Despite having dealt in many hundreds of fine linen ones for dining tables from France, I have never heard of them, by this name. To me, it sounds as if they were used for pre-war 'le 5 o'clock' as it was known in France, and they had probably moved from the pantry where they were kept with the porcelain tea sets and tea-knives all in the care of the house parlour maids who passed the sandwiches, Victoria cake and little scones around and looked after the silver kettle and teapot! Thank You.
I have now heard from two readers who both think these were probably tea-time napkins, small and dainty.
I now remember that I once had 24 tiny squares in Basque linen and I did wonder, as they were in fairly coarse linen, whether they were used by wine drinkers! I also had 8 very pretty white damask squares with a border of blue ribbons and bows and deep silky fringes, and I used them to make soft little bedroom cushions, backing them with plain striped damask and a zip and filling them with a pad of soft white pure down, removed from my grandmother's old drawing room sofa . I could even make good use of the fringe. No waste there!