A bit on – slightly drunk (1800)

A date with John Barleycorn – strong beer, malt liquor, or whisky made from barley.
From England, saying as old as 17th century.

Adelaide Neilson – A beauty, one of the hardest working, most famous London actress of her time. Born in 1848

Addled – From “addle,” meaning putrid drinking water or rotten urine; thus, “rotten drunk.” Alternately, from “addle-pated,” meaning stupid. Early 1700s. Noted by Benjamin Franklin.
Admiral of the narrow seas – Refers to a drunk who throws up in his neighbor’s lap. Nautical and tavern use, 1650s to 1800s.

Altogetherly – From “Altogether drunk.” British society use since the 1800s.

Apartment – In England (during Victorian and Antebellum times) the wealthy “took apartments” when they traveled and needed a place to reside. Also, large English homes contained apartments, as well as royal palaces.

Arf an’ arf – “Half and half,” slightly drunk. Also, “arf an’ arf” is ale mixed with porter. Cockney, since the early 1800s.

As drunk as they make ’em – Utterly drunk. Since the mid 1800s.

ascot – a cravat with wide square ends, secured with an ornamental pin

bags – 19th century bags

baseball – Evolving from older bat-and-ball games, an early form of baseball was being played in England by the mid-eighteenth century. This game and the related rounders were brought by British and Irish immigrants to North America, where the modern version of baseball developed.  First recorded game with codified rules in America 1848. (Wikipedia)

Baedeker – Verlag Karl Baedeker is a Germany-based publisher and pioneer in the business of worldwide travel guidesThe guides were simply referred to as Baedeckers. Founded by Karl Baedeker in 1827, the company relocated in 1872 to Leipzig under his third son Fritz Baedeker, who took over control of the company following the death and disablement of his older brothers. With the widespread advent of mechanical transportation, it was Fritz who managed an explosive growth in the line of travel guides, also producing international guides. Prior to World War I, Baedeker’s guides were famous enough that baedekering became an English-language term for the process of travelling a country for the purpose of writing a travel guide or travelogue about it.

bakers –

balls –

Bamboozled – Made a fool, in this case by drunkenness. From this word’s meaning of “cheated” or “swindled.” US, since the 1800s.

Banged up to the eyes – Mid 1800s to early 1900s.

banquette –

barouche –

bars –

bath –

Beating up against an ale-head wind – Tacking (changing direction) all over the place. An “ale-head wind” is a drunken sailor. Cf.

Been looking through a glass – Mid 1800s to early 1900s.

Beery – Fuddled with beer. Since the mid 1800s.

Bezzled – To “bezzle” is to drink greedily in British dialect. Since the early 1600s.

Bibulous – Mid 1800s.

Big House –

billiards –

bistros –

blackjack –

Blind as Chloe – Utterly drunk. See “Drunk as Chloe.” 1780 to 1860.

Blind drunk – Deeply intoxicated. US and British, since the late 1700s.

Blue-eyed – US, mid 1800s.

Boiled as an owl – Cf. “Drunk as a boiled owl.” British & US, since the late 1800s

boarder –

borderlights (a long horizontal row of lights used for the general lighting of the stage)

boardinghouse –

bonnet –

bourgeoisie –

boots –

Breath strong enough to carry coal with – British & US, since the late 1800s.

Breezy – Refers to alcohol-laden breath, or bonhomie brought about by intoxication. US, mid 1800s.

brickish – fine, jolly, excellent

brief-snatcher – pocketbook thief

bridge – betray the confidence of (1812)

buckboard –

A buckboard is a four-wheeled wagon of simple construction meant to be drawn by a horse or other large animal.[1] The “buckboard” is the front-most board on the wagon that could act as both a footrest for the driver and protection for the driver from the horse’s rear hooves in case of a “buck”. The buckboard is steered by its front wheels, which are connected to each other by a single axle. The front and rear axle are connected by a platform of one or more boards to which the front axle is connected on a pivoting joint at its midpoint. A buckboard wagon often carries a seat for a driver. Such a seat may be supported by springs. The main platform between axles is not suspended by springs like a carriage. Made in the 18th century around the same time as carriages.

Originally designed for personal transportation in mountain regions, these distinctively American vehicles were widely used in newly settled regions of the United States.[2]

Some Cyclecars eg the Smith Flyer were also referred to as ‘Buckboard Cars”. (from Wikepedia)

bugle –

bustle – The Victorian bustle, sometimes known as the Grecian bend was first in fashion between 1870 and 1875.

burn – burn sherry, to heat it

butchers –

Brewer’s horse – addicted to drink, bit by the Brewer’s horse

cop the brewery – get drunk (1860)

cabaret –

cabs –

cape –

Carnival –

carriage –

Cathedral –

cemetaries –

champagneEarly champagne was a pale, thin red wine made from black grapes. [ All grapes are white on the inside.] The northerly climate was too cold to produce outstanding red wine, and the wines of that era from Champagne had little quality conferring prestige. (source internet) Perignon happened upon sparkling champagne purely by accident. He thought he could improve the quality of the abbey’s wine by storing it in bottles instead of barrels to slow the process of oxidation. During the cold winters, fermentation of the grape sugars into alcohol usually stopped.

When spring brought warmer weather, the fermentation started again in the bottle. Dom Perignon’s first champagne bubbles were produced by carbon dioxide gas that formed as a result of the second fermentation. Dom Perignon didn’t understand the underlying science, but he knew his wines were better than his neighbors’ wines. The sparkling champagne of the Abbey of Hautvillers quickly became the most popular wine of the region and enabled Perignon to sell his wine for twice the price of rival wines. But Perignon was not merely an accidental genius. He was the first to make a white wine from black grapes.

The rarest 19Th century Baccarat Champagne Glasses are up for sale. It is a fabulous pristine set of 12 Baccarat champagne glasses. It sports a pattern that was made to suit the imperial Russian Court in the 19Th century. It looks fantastic in purple and this colors tells you of the linkage to royalty. It is only a slightly different pattern than what the Russian Royal Family used. What makes these glasses so precious is that they are now only seen in museums and private collections .

The Benedictine Monk Dom Pérignon died in 1715.  He spent countless hours attempting to rid the monastery wines of bubbles, however in Britain the royals were beginning to prefer sparkling wine. Following the death of Louis XIV in 1715, the court of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans made the sparkling version of Champagne a favorite among the French nobility. Less than two decades later came the very first Champagne house, Ruinart, established in 1729. Nevertheless this was more of a Champagne evolution than a revolution, and it was only during the course of the 18th and early 19th centuries that the sparkling wines slowly came to dominate, gradually edging out the pale and rather delicate red wines that had preceded them. Names that today are synonymous with the region begin to appear on the scene; Claude Moët in 1743, for example, followed by Philippe Clicquot in 1772, the house of Veuve Clicquot. In 1785 Florenz-Ludwig Heidsieck established the forerunner of all the Heidsieck houses, Memmie Jacquesson set up in 1798, and Joseph Jacob Placide Bollinger arrived in the region to take up employment in 1822.  Champagne houses, Krug (1843), Pommery (1858) and Bollinger (1829) (source, Wikipedia)

Communion :

cabaret –  Cabaret began in France around the turn of the 19th century, later flourishing in the United States. Some of the most famous early cabarets in France were the Chat Noir, the Moulin Rouge, and the Folies-Bergère, sometimes featuring circus acts along with the more common musical and dance numbers. Elaborate costumes and stunning showgirls became staples of the cabaret. (source:Wisegeek)  (Often used in modern versions of antebellum literature, although it appears cabarets didn’t emerge until the late 19th century)

cafe –

cake –


Rare & Important 18th C. Chippendale Mahogany Claw and Ball Foot Philadelphia Candlestand


Canterbury –

card table (writing card table, mahogany, octagonal shaped, clover leaf top, Adjustable Reading Stand On Casters, leather top, American Hepplewhite Seymour and Son, Boston Card Table, Chinese Inlaid & Carved Hardwood Alter Table, Classical Boston, Mass Marble Top Center Table 31″Ht. 39″,Inlaid Paterea Reeded & Carved Sheraton Leg Card Table William Hook

Case bottle – (source: The Guinness Drinking Companion by Leslie Dunkling.  Usage: Dunkling cites Charles Dickens, “The old curiousity shop.”  “the spirit being set before him in a huge case-bottle which had originally come out from some ship’s locker.”

chamber pot

chess –

chest – storage for clothes, i.e.  Tiger Maple New England Chest

cheroot –


chocolates –

cockfighting –

coin purse – satin, silk, netted, crocheted, or leather

corn sheller –

corsete –

coverlet – Woven coverlet, a bed covering used in the United States from the colonial period to the mid-19th century

Cue sports – (sometimes spelled cuesports), also known as billiard sports,[1][2] are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick which is used to strike billiard balls, moving them around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by rubber cushions. Historically, the umbrella term was billiards. While that familiar name is still employed by some as a generic label for all such games, the word’s usage has splintered into more exclusive competing meanings in various parts of the world. For example, in British and Australian English, “billiards” usually refers exclusively to the game of English billiards, while in American and Canadian English it is sometimes used to refer to a particular game or class of games, or to all cue games in general, depending upon dialect and context.

There are three major subdivisions of games within cue sports:

All cue sports are generally regarded to have evolved into indoor games from outdoor stick-and-ball lawn games (retroactively termed ground billiards),[4] and as such to be related to trucco, croquet and golf, and more distantly to the stickless bocce and bowls. Most information about early billiards comes from accounts of royalty and other nobles playing the game. The first written reference to a billiard table occurred in a 1470 inventory of the possessions of King Louis XI [reigned (1461–83)] of France. The nobility practiced the local monarch’s variety of billiards assiduously. An invitation to play with the king was a chance of a lifetime that could lead to a court office and the king would expect the invited player to show enough skill to make the game interesting. Other early billiards royal players included: Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542-1587); King Louis XIV (1643-1715); Marie Antoinette and her husband King Louis XVI. It has been known as the “Noble Game of Billiards” since the early 1800’s. In 1609, the game was familiar enough to the public that Shakespeare mentioned it in his play Anthony and Cleopatra.

The first known mention of a form of the word “billiards” appears in Edmund Spenser‘s Mother Hubberd’s Tale in 1591, where he speaks of “all thriftles games that may be found … with dice, with cards, with balliards.”[5] The word “billiard” may have evolved from the French word billart or billette, meaning “stick”, in reference to the mace, an implement similar to a golf club, which was the forerunner to the modern cue; the term’s origin may have also been from French bille, meaning “ball”.[6] The modern term “cue sports” can be used to encompass the ancestral mace games, and even the modern cueless variants, such as finger billiards, for historical reasons. “Cue” itself came from queue, the French word for a tail. This refers to the early practice of using the tail of the mace to strike the ball when it lay against a rail cushion.[6]A recognizable form of billiards was played outdoors in the 1340s, and was reminiscent of croquet. King Louis XI of France (1461–1483) had the first known indoor billiard table.[6] Louis XIV further refined and popularized the game, and it swiftly spread amongst the French nobility.[6] While the game had long been played on the ground, this version appears to have died out in the 1600s, in favor of croquet, golf and bowling games, while table billiards had grown in popularity as an indoor activity.[6] Mary, Queen of Scots, claimed that her “table de billiard” had been taken away by what would eventually become her executioners (who covered her body with the table’s cloth).[6] In 1588, the Duke of Norfolk, owned a “billyard bord coered with a greene cloth… three billyard sticks and 11 balls of yvery”.[6] Billiards grew to the extent that by 1727, it was being played in almost every Paris cafe.[6] In England, the game was developing into a very popular activity for members of the gentry.[6]

i.s. American Shaker dark red painted poplar paneled step-back cupboard from Watervliet, N.Y., circa 1840-1860. This lovely cupboard has a documentable Watervliet, N.Y. cornice which flares above the recessed panel doors which open to a four shelved interior above similar doors which opens to two shelves on a cutout base with two doors below with shelves.

cistern — a large receptacle for storing  water.

curricle –

cravat –

dance –

decollete – Leaving the neck and shoulders uncovered; cut low in the neck, or low-necked, as a dress.

decolletage – lower neck line

Delope (French for “throwing away”) is the practice of throwing away one’s first fire in a duel, in an attempt to abort the conflict. According to most traditions the deloper must first allow his opponent the opportunity to fire after the command (“present”) is issued by the secondary, without hinting at his intentions. The Irish code duello forbids the practice of deloping explicitly.

The delope could be attempted for practical reasons if one’s opponent was thought to be superior in ability, or for moral reasons if the duelist had objections to attempting to kill his opponent.

For one’s opponent to insist upon a second shot after a delope was considered bloodthirsty and unbecoming. Often, it would fall to the secondaries to immediately end the duel after a delope had been observed.

desk – i.e. Mahogany Turned Leg Sheraton Fall Front Plantation Desk. Circa: 1825-1845 The Very Top Of Desk Lifts Up To Store Additional Documents.

dew drink –

dice –

dining room –

docks –

dram shop – Dram shop or dramshop is a legal term in the United States referring to a bar, tavern or the like where alcoholic beverages are sold. Traditionally, it referred to a shop where spirits were sold by the dram, a small un

drawing room – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Reconstructed drawing room of Sir William Burrell; part of the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, Scotland

A drawing room is a room in a house where visitors may be entertained. The name is derived from the sixteenth-century terms “withdrawing room” and “withdrawing chamber,” which remained in use through the seventeenth century, and made its first written appearance in 1642 (OED). In a large sixteenth- to early eighteenth-century English house, a withdrawing room was a room to which the owner of the house, his wife, or a distinguished guest who was occupying one of the main apartments in the house could “withdraw” for more privacy. It was often off the great chamber (or the great chamber’s descendant, the state room or salon) and usually led to a formal, or “state” bedroom.[1]

In eighteenth-century London, the royal morning receptions that the French called levées were called “drawing rooms”, with the sense originally that the privileged members of court would gather in the drawing room outside the king’s bedroom, where he would make his first formal public appearance of the day.

During the American Civil War, in the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, the drawing room was just off of the parlor where C.S.A. President Jefferson Davis would greet his guests. At the conclusion of these greetings, the men would remain in the parlor to talk politics and the women would withdraw to the drawing room for their own conversation. This was common practice in the affluent circles of the Southern United States.

duck hunting –

Dutch Courage – Liquor induced courage

Englishman –


Hampshire Museum Services Collection

handbag – rectangular, tortoiseshell panels laid over gilt tooled red morocco leather, front flap with scalloped edge, trimmed with decorative cut steel rivets and facetted steel lock, double handle of fine steel chain, lined pale pink silk, fitted with small internal leather coin purse 1840-1855

eves –

footlights – (a row of lights across the front of the stage floor), candles in early theater, later gaslight.

frock – 

Originally, a frock was a loose, long garment with wide, full sleeves, such as the habit of a monk or priest, commonly belted. (This is the origin of the modern term defrock or unfrock, meaning “to eject from the priesthood“).

The term has been continually applied to various types of clothing, generally denoting a loosely fitted garment:

  • From the sixteenth century to the early twentieth century, frock was applied to a woman’s dress or gown, in the fashion of the day, often indicating an unfitted, comfortable garment for wear in the house, or (later) a light overdress worn with a slip or underdress.
  • From the seventeenth century on, a frock is a thigh- or full-length loose outer garment worn by shepherds, workmen, and farm workers in Britain, generally of heavy linen with a broad flat collar, now usually called a smock-frock. In some areas, this traditional frock buttons up the front in the manner of a coat, while in others it is a pullover style.
  • In the eighteenth century in Britain and America, a frock was an unfitted men’s coat for hunting or other country pursuits, with a broad, flat collar, derived from the traditional working-class frock. Late in the eighteenth century it came to be made with a cutaway front without a waist seam and this may have evolved into the standard dress coat with horizontally cutaway fronts worn for daytime wear by the early nineteenth century and from which the modern tail coat for white tie is derived. The great coat may similarly be historically derived from the frock as it similarly is single breasted, with a high and broad collar, waist pockets, and also lacked a waist seam early in its history as can be seen in an example in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The precise historical evolution of the frock after the second half of the eighteenth century is obscure, however it is likely that the frock was gradually supplanted by the frock coat in the early nineteenth century, eventually being relegated to evening dress. The frock coat in turn became cut away into the modern coat, giving us the two modern coats with tails.

  • Frock (especially in the phrase “short frock”) is also a child’s dress or light overdress.

frock coat – 

A frock coat is a man’s coat characterised by knee-length skirts all around the base, popular during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The double-breasted style is sometimes called a Prince Albert (after the consort to Queen Victoria). The frock coat is a fitted, long-sleeved coat with a centre vent at the back, and some features unusual in post-Victorian dress. These include the reverse collar and lapels, where the outer edge of the lapel is cut from a separate piece of cloth to the main body, and also a high degree of waist suppression, where the coat’s diameter round the waist is much less than round the chest. This is achieved by a high horizontal waist seam with side bodies, which are extra panels of fabric above the waist used to pull in the naturally cylindrical drape.

The frock coat was widely worn in much the same situations as modern lounge suits and formalwear, with different variations. One example is that a frock coat for formalwear was always double-breasted with peaked lapels; as informal wear, the single-breasted frock coat often sported the step, or notched, lapel (the cause of its informality), and was more common in the early nineteenth century than the formal model.

Dress coats and morning coats, the other main knee-length coats of the period, shared the waist seam of frock coats, making them all body coats, but differed in the cut of the skirt, as the frock coat does not have the cut away front which gives dress coats and morning coats tails at the back. As was usual with all coats in the nineteenth century, shoulder padding (called ‘American shoulders’) was rare or minimal. The formal frock coat only buttons down to the waist seam, which is decorated at the back with a pair of buttons. The frock coat that buttoned up to the neck, forming a high, stand-up collar, was worn only by clergymen.

garconniere – a bachelor’s department or quarters (Fr.)

genteel –

gloves (opera length)

green room – a room for mingling behind the theater stage

guitar –

gum-tickler – a strong drink in undulated form

hackney-coaches – horse drawn carriage

hansom-cab – carriage

harvest –

hearth – A fireplace feature.  In Greek Mythology, Hestia is the goddess of the hearth. In Roman Religion, Vesta is the Goddess of the hearth.In Ancient Persia, according to Zoroastrian customs, every house was expected to have a hearth for offering sacrifices and prayers.

highboy – A tall piece of wood furniture used for storing clothes.  i.e.Maple Fan Carved Highboy,

hitching post (cast iron) –

hocus – a drugged liquor to doctor the liquor

hospitals –

hotel –

hotelkeeper –

hounds –

Huegenot –

inn –

Irishman –

landau –

lead row slave –

Lent –

letter –

link boy – A link-boy (or link boy or linkboy) was a boy who carried a flaming torch to light the way for pedestrians at night. Linkboys were common in London in the days before street lighting. The linkboy’s fee was commonly one farthing, and the torch was often made from burning pitch and tow.

Link-boys and their torches also accompanied litter vehicles, known as sedan chairs, that were operated by chairmen.[1] Where possible, the link boys escorted the fares to the chairmen, the passengers then being delivered to the door of their lodgings.[1]

Several houses in Bath, UK still have the link extinguishers on the exteriors, shaped like outsized candle snuffers (see image, right).

The term derives from “link”, a term for the cotton tow that formed the wick of the torch. Links are mentioned in William Shakespeare‘s Henry IV, part 1, as Falstaff teases Bardolph about the shining redness of his face:

Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walking with thee in the night betwixt tavern and tavern.” (Act III, scene 3)

Georgian link extinguisher on a house in Bath, UK

Sir Joshua Reynolds painted Cupid as a Link Boy, now held by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. In that painting, little Cupid as a London linkboy wears demonic bat wings and an immense phallic torch to “remind those in the know of the proclivities of a certain patron.”[2] Another appears in the first plate of William Hogarth‘s The Four Stages of Cruelty, putting out the eyes of a bird using a hot needle heated in the flame of his torch. Hogarth depicts a linkboy again, in plate four, Night, of his Four Times of the Day, this time huddled beneath a bench blowing on his torch.

In the mid-eighteenth century Laurence Casey, who was known as Little Cazey, became the personal linkboy of the famous courtesan Betty Careless, and gained something of reputation as a troublemaker. He features L. P. Boitard’s 1739 picture The Covent Garden Morning Frolick, leading the sedan chair containing Betty and being ridden by Captain “Mad Jack” Montague (seafaring brother of the Earl of Sandwich). Henry Fielding considered Montague, his companion Captain Laroun, and Casey “the three most troublesome and difficult to manage of all my Bow Street visitors”. Casey was eventually transported to America in 1750.[3]

In thieves’ cant, a linkboy was known as a “Glym Jack” (“glym” meant “light”) or a “moon-curser” (as their services would not be required on a moonlit night). Employing a linkboy could be dangerous, as some would lead their clients to dark alleyways, where they could be beset by footpads[4]

Linkboys make brief appearances in the novels of William Thackeray and Charles Dickens, and are mentioned by Samuel Pepys in his diary. An anonymous illustrated serial novel, The Link Boy of Old London, was published in the penny dreadful Boys Standard from 4 November 1882.

The expression “cannot hold a candle to” (meaning “inferior to”) may derive from a comparison to an inadequate linkboy.[5][6] During the Renaissance, a person walking home after dark typically would have hired a linkboy to light the way with a candle or torch – then considered a low status position.[7] If you could not hold a candle to somebody, that means you were not even good enough to be his linkboy.[7]

lithograph –

longettes – Opera glasses

mailman –

Mardi Gras –

miser purse – see also coin purse, silk, knitted, leather etc.

mistress (of the Big House)

mistress (lover) –

nip –

oil lamps –

opera house –

peignoir – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A peignoir c.1906 – A peignoir is a long outer garment for women frequently sheer and made of chiffon or other translucent fabrics. The word come from French peigner, to comb the hair (from Latin pectināre, from pecten, pectin-, comb) describing a garment worn while brushing ones hair, originally referring to a dressing gown or bathrobe. Contemporary peignoirs are usually sold with matching nightgown, negligee or panties.

petticoat –

piano, pianoforte Widely used in Classical music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music, and accompaniment. Pianos are string instruments, The invention of the modern piano is credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Padua, Italy, who was employed by Prince Ferdinand de Medici as the Keeper of the Instruments. He was an expert harpsichord maker and was well acquainted with the previous body of knowledge on stringed keyboard instruments. For some time after its invention, the piano was largely owned by royalty.  In the early to mid-1800s pianos were financially beyond the reach of most families, and the pianos of those times were generally the property of the gentry and the aristocracy and was a status symbol and sign of wealth.

Piano study was apparently more common for girls than boys.[3] It was also widely felt that ability to play the piano made young women more marriageable.

Emma Wedgwood Darwin

Women who had learned to play as children often continued to play as adults, thus providing music in their households.[4]. For instance, Emma Wedgwood (1808–1896), the granddaughter of the wealthy industrialist Josiah Wedgwood, took piano lessons from none other than Frédéric Chopin, and apparently achieved a fair level of proficiency. Following her marriage to Charles Darwin, Emma still played the piano daily, while her husband listened appreciatively.

The patenting of a pianoforte by J. J. Hawkins, a resident of Philadelphia. Steinway, Knabe, Chickering Piano Company, a Square Grand was made in 1789 by Charles Albrecht of Philadelphia. Photo: Grand piano by Louis Bas of  Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France, 1781.

Cristofori’s new instrument remained relatively unknown until an Italian writer, Scipione Maffei, wrote an enthusiastic article about it (1711), including a diagram of the mechanism. This article was widely distributed, and most of the next generation of piano builders started their work because of reading it. One of these builders was Gottfried Silbermann, better known as an organ builder. Silbermann’s pianos were virtually direct copies of Cristofori’s, with one important addition: Silbermann invented the forerunner of the modern damper pedal, which lifts all the dampers from the strings at once.

Silbermann showed Johann Sebastian Bach one of his early instruments in the 1730s, but Bach did not like it at that time, claiming that the higher notes were too soft to allow a full dynamic range. Although this earned him some animosity from Silbermann, the criticism was apparently heeded. Bach did approve of a later instrument he saw in 1747, and even served as an agent in selling Silbermann’s pianos.[6]

Piano making flourished during the late 18th century in the Viennese school, which included Johann Andreas Stein (who worked in Augsburg, Germany) and the Viennese makers Nannette Streicher (daughter of Stein) and Anton Walter. Viennese-style pianos were built with wood frames, two strings per note, and had leather-covered hammers. Some of these Viennese pianos had the opposite coloring of modern-day pianos; the natural keys were black and the accidental keys white.[7] It was for such instruments that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his concertos and sonatas, and replicas of them are built today for use in authentic-instrument performance of his music. The pianos of Mozart’s day had a softer, clearer tone than today’s pianos or English pianos, with less sustaining power. The term fortepiano is nowadays often used to distinguish the 18th-century instrument from later pianos. By the 1820s, the center of innovation had shifted to Paris, where the Pleyel firm manufactured pianos used by Frédéric Chopin. Square pianos were built in great numbers through the 1840s. In 1863, Henri Fourneaux invented the player piano, which plays itself from a piano roll without the need for a pianist. (wikipedia)

porridge –

Passover –

pictures –

playbill –

pool –

portmanteau – traveling bag, luggage, case

pot liquor – left over juices from various foods

prints – (from opera and theater of female dancers/performers and male)

purse leather, 1840 – 1855 purse, dark green leather, fold-over style, front flap with two circular gilt frames, one with photograph of Napoleon III, central padlock shaped gilt escutcheon, five internal compartments containing five miniature coins representing the Royal Family 1848

purse, papier mache, leather, textile, 1850 – 1860 – purse or wallet, envelope style, white papier mache panels decorated with gold tendrils, mounted on dark brown leather, engraved steel lock closure, reverse with inset panel of fine woolwork on canvas depicting woman in open robe, lined deep rose pink watered silk, two internal compartments of matching silk, one with remains of notepad attached, fitted tiny nib pen, nib missing, approximate width 90mm, approximate depth 60mm, c1850-1860

purse, long, netted mid blue silk, one end trimmed large steel beaded tassel, the other end flat with deep fringe of cut steel beads, pair cut steel rings, approximate length excluding trims 260mm, c1840-1860

private box – for royalty and the wealthy at the theater and opera

reaper –

reticules, (sometimes called ‘ridicules’) carried by women in late 18th and 19th century, a satin or silk drawstring bag or small drawstring purse for women to carry their dance cards, invitations, or a handkerchief, fan, a scent bottle, makeup, i.e. lipstick, face powder or rouge or perfume)

rocker –  i.e. American Shaker Armed Childs Rocker, 19th C American Shaker Canterbury, N.H. Sewing Rocker, Shawl Bar Rocker, Cane Seated Sewing Rocker

Samuel Phelps – A famous London Stage actor of the 1860s and 70s

Scottsman –

scythe –

shelf –

settee –

sherry –

silk tie –

souvenirs – (opera and theater)

sovereign purse – a tiny flat purse or tiny flat coin purse that could be knitted, crocheted, silk, leather, beaded, with tassels, ivory, gold, pearls, sterling silver.  By mid 19th century sovereign’s had metal fastenings (gold, silver, etc)

skirts –

steamers – By the 1800s the christenings of ships began to follow a familiar pattern. A “christening fluid” would be poured against the bow of the ship, though it was not necessarily wine or champagne. There are accounts in the US Navy records of 19th century warships being christened with water from significant American rivers.

And it became standard for champagne, as the most elite of wines, to be used for the christening. The tradition developed that a female would do the honors and be named the sponsor of the ship. And maritime superstition held that a ship that wasn’t properly christened would be considered unlucky. A champagne bottle that didn’t break was a particularly bad omen.

stocking purses – satin, silk, netted, crocheted, or leather for coins (also coin purse or miser purse)

Sunday Mass

“The Stage” – London newspaper devoted to the stage

tableaux – game much like charades

tall case clock – (grandfather clock)

telegram –

telegraph –

tester – a canopy, as over a bed or altar.


theater –

travesty dancer – a female dancing a male role (another way to display the female body through corsets and open midriff)


gold pocket watch

Saint-Domingue –

silver pocket watch

jeweled stick pin –

market basket –

overseer –


pearl stick pin



planter class

southern gentility

stick ball

stole – formal shawl

tiara –

gold ribbons

truckle bed – a low bed on wheels, stored under a larger bed, used esp formerly by a servant

trundle bed – same as a truckle bed

valise –

vest –

wagon –

waistcoats –

Waltz –

white wine

whip –

wine –

W.J.Byron – London playwright of “Our Boys”





ruchin – bunched fabric






http://www.laurieleighantiques.com/pages/wineglasses.html 19th century Champagne and Wine glasses with photos and descriptions.