A handsome Edwardian porter's bell or tea bell with a polished turned wood handle. It could have been used at a desk, hotel or boarding house reception. Tinga-ling-a-ling "...Porter, come struggle with my hat boxes!" These days it provides the perfectly poetic way of summoning your family to the supper table.
“As soon as the drawing-room bell rings for tea, the footman enters with the tray, which has been previously prepared; hands the tray round to the company, with cream and sugar, the tea and coffee being generally poured out, while another attendant hands cakes, toast, or biscuits” says Mrs Beaton in her account of domestic servants in her Book Of Household Management of 1861.
The 1879 edition explained the organization of a ‘little tea’: “A pretty little afternoon tea service is placed upon a small table and there are plates of rolled bread-and-butter, as well as biscuits and cake...” The thoroughly English Afternoon Tea was popularised in the 1830s by the Duchess of Bedford. The Industrial Revolution had flipped the main meal of the day from noonish to evening, and the opportunity for a light, late afternoon repast presented itself. Victorian-era teas assumed many forms, ranging from informal feminine gatherings to elaborate events attended by hundreds, and this versatile social event played a unique role in British life, enjoyed throughout the Empire.
Dimensions: Height 18cm Diameter 9cm
Country of origin: UK
Date of manufacture: c.1900
Material: wood and brass
Condition: excellent, and with original chain and clapper