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"Taking Tea"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This posed photograph of two women at the tea table shows the viewer how "taking tea" in the 19th century was a social ritual that embodied gracious living and gentility. Polite conversation in a parlor or sitting room located the tea ritual out of a workspace such as the kitchen and thus emphasized the leisured gentility of the participants. The well-appointed tea table included a white tablecloth, china or less-expensive ceramic cups, saucers, sugar and cream pitchers, and, of course, a teapot.


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