In honor of the Spring, we are sharing some of our florally-inspired items over the next several days. Enjoy the season—including the flowers which delightfully distinguish the Spring.
Before the 1950's—when automatic washing machines became commonplace in middle-class American homes—doing laundry was not a lot of fun. Usually on a Monday, laundry day started before sunrise. Water was carried-in, brought to a boil, and the laundry was processed as a day-long event. For this reason, until the last several decades, people sought ways to reduce the amount of laundry which had to be cleaned. Men wore detachable shirt collars, which allowed the collar to be removed and cleaned separately from (and more frequently than) the shirt itself. Women wore substantial (though light) undergarments which helped keep their outer garments clean longer. And guests (or family members) might use the same linen dinner napkin for several meals (or throughout their weekend visit). Multicolored napkin rings, like those shown above, allowed each guest to find and use his or her own napkin from one meal to the next.
These napkin rings were made in Russia in the 1950's or 1960's. The different colors allow a guest to recognize his previously-used napkin. Even if washing linens in no longer as onerous as it once was, some people may like the bright pop of color provided by the multicolor rings—each one hand-painted with Russian folk art florals. Click on the photo above to learn more about them
More Springtime flowers tomorrow and in the days to come.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248