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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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"Taking Tea"

photographer   Frances and Mary Allen
date   1901-1904
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
width   8.5"
height   6.5"
process/materials   platinum print
item type   Photograph/Photograph
accession #   #1996.14.0596

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See Also...

Little Girl and Doll at a "Tea Party"

Tea and Coffee Service


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