Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Unusual Artifacts: A Wedding Favor, 1889

Wedding Favor
Wax, Silk, Paper, Wire
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The phenomenon of handing out favors to wedding guests is not a new phenomenon. It’s a tradition that has been in practice for hundreds of years. Some souvenirs of weddings were on a grand scale. For example, at Queen Victoria’s 1840 wedding, “The Times” wrote:
"Every lady exhibited a white favour, some of which were admirable specimens of refined taste. They were of all sizes, many of white satin riband, tied up into bows and mixed with layers of rich silver lace. Others merely of riband intermixed with sprigs of orange flower blossom."

Though considerably later in date, and certainly on a smaller scale, this wedding favor is similar in concept. Here we have a sprig of wax and fabric flowers, paper and wired satin ribbon. Such a favor was handed to the ladies in attendance who would often preserve it under a glass dome or in a reliquary of sorts.

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