(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
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.