Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Trousseau.....

 ~Tablecloth and twelve matching napkins purchased at an antique sale~
Blessed to have my own initial!

Sheets, tablecloths, napkins and pillowcases all carefully folded and squarely stacked have long been cherished possessions of a young Bride!  In times past, this beautiful gift for a young woman was part of her trousseau given to her over the years leading up to her wedding day.

Today the focus has shifted to the actual day of the wedding and the ceremony but in times past the focus was on the life after the day of the wedding and providing the young bride with the many items she would need to establish her home.  The armoire would be filled with household linens prepared years in advance with embroidered and monogramming of the future spouses' initials.  Linen was richly symbolic, conveying above all the wealth to be displayed before guests.

"Isabelle of France received her trousseau at the age of seven, when she was promised to marriage to Richard II of England.  It contained fourteen pairs of sheets, a dozen large cloths, two dozen smaller cloths, and several colored bedspreads in velvet and satin." according to The Book of Fine Linen.    

My own grandmother filled my wedding trousseau with lovely sheets and linens and continued to gift me with tablecloths and linen napkins she purchased at antique auctions and sales in the community in which she lived.  She was wise and giving.  I am blessed that she made me a priority in her life and I have tried to carry on the tradition and make my own daughters my priority and hope they will carry this tradition on with their daughters.  The linens that I have, I enjoy sharing as I prepare a table setting for dinner.  The monogrammed napkins and tablecloths are treasures for sure but sharing them and using them is what my grandmother instilled in me.  The photos above are of different times that I have dressed my table for dining.  I rarely buy anything new......of course flowers and candles......always.  Beautiful flowers and candles create the ambience that I am hoping for!

Anything of value takes time in our lives.  It can be a simple desire to learn to hand stitch a monogram.  Life has to slow down for this to happen.  We have to be at home more.  Something magnificent happens when we cherish what is truly important in life.  People are calmer, kinder, happier, and closer.  People become a family!  Life is fun once again......laughter is in the walls!

Enjoy those that God has entrusted into your care and may your daughters (and sons) trousseau be filled!

1 comment:

  1. Such a beautiful post!! Love that the table cloth had the"P" initial! It's amazing what you can find at antique shops!! I purchased a handkerchief when I was engaged and it had a "N" on it and I saved it for my wedding day since "N" was going to be my new last name initial. Sadly, somehow in all of the wedding madness, it got lost after the wedding. I'm thinking it got placed on a table and may have been mistaken for a napkin or something. I keep crossing my fingers that one day it will turn up in a box. But at least I got to use it during my wedding and I have pictures of it!

    I love looking at your tables and how you set them so beautifully! I love the green square plate as well! Lovely!