Food & Wine

Victoria Monograms 2013

In a frantic and hurried world, Victoria offers a respite from the chaos of everyday life. The pages are dedicated to living beautifully when entertaining, cooking, and decorating and even in artistic pursuits - and now you can enjoy every single page on your tablet! With a distinct personality all its own, Victoria personifies feminity, passion, and an enterprising spirit. Each issue features decorating and entertaining ideas, recipes, travel stories, essays from inspiring women, and much more.

United States
Hoffman Media
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7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
dear friends

I first became aware of monograms when I was a teenager and every girl in my group of friends wanted a certain “status” purse. Crafted of lovely leather, the bag featured a medallion to be embossed with three initials. At Christmas that year, my parents gave me the simple but costly purse in navy, complete with personalization. In the center of the attached leather ornament was a large N, with a P and an F on either side. I was thrilled, and I carried the bag with great pride for many years. A monogrammed gift says “I planned ahead for your special event,” and this piece was certainly the highlight of my holiday. Today, my jewelry box contains several pieces that are precious to me because they are engraved with my…

3 min.
the marriage hankie

SSo much can be said about this delicate little piece of linen that to trace the history of the marriage hankie is to drop a plumb line into the very heart and soul of France. Handkerchiefs of all shapes are known to have commonly been used by the French since the sixteenth century, but it was King Louis XIV who possessed the first collection of square hankies, initiating a trend. Later, Marie Antoinette, a fan of this variation of the accessory, shepherded it into the public eye, thus cementing it as a fashion statement. In 1785, Louis XVI went so far as to patent the royally approved shape and specific dimensions for all handkerchiefs that were to be produced in France. However absurd it might seem that so much attention was…

4 min.
the royal lineage of table linens

TTablecloths and napkins are largely taken for granted today—almost as much as forks and spoons. However, eating habits were not always quite so civilized, and these accoutrements have not always been the norm. There is, in fact, strong evidence that up until the late sixteenth century, neither napkins nor forks were used much (if at all) in Europe. Fortunately, all of this began to change when Catherine de Médicis arrived in Marseille from her native Florence, soon to marry Henry II and then later to assume the French throne as queen. Catherine, legendary for her conciliatory politics and her fertile, open mind, also loved nothing more than to throw extravagant balls and sumptuous banquets. A proponent of social propriety, this well-mannered queen was responsible for introducing the napkin and the two-tined…

4 min.
the mark of nobility

Whether an impression left on the red sealing wax of a royal edict, the concrete footprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, or even the inflated bubble letters that wallpaper trains, overpasses, and tunnels in the form of modern-day graffiti, humans have for centuries yearned to leave a personal mark in the sands of time. In fact, some of the very first recorded monograms date back to the ancient Greeks, who etched walls and pottery vessels with grapheion—the classical Greek term for written letters. During the Middle Ages in Europe, before the printing press would democratize reading and writing, most adults, including many kings, queens, and overlords, were illiterate. The royal courts, however, were generally populated with those who could read and write, as well as render elegantly. Thus, it was…

3 min.
the trousseau: a work of art and love

TThe trousseau, or dowry, can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire. It was the bride’s counterpart to the propter nuptias, which in Roman law was the donation required of the groom’s family to ensure a solid foundation for the newly married couple. It could include money, livestock, real estate, furniture, and basically anything else of value they could afford to give. In turn, the bride arrived with a dot—her family’s offering of household linens, clothing, and other valuables. The French word trousseau derives from the verb trousser, which means “to wrap up in a package.” The size of this marital parcel was generally commensurate with the wealth of the family. Interestingly, the Christmas stocking has its origins here as well. According to legend, Saint Nicholas tossed gold…

3 min.
sparkling biltmore insignias

Constructed at the height of the Gilded Age, Biltmore estate represents one of the greatest undertakings in the history of American architecture. George W. Vanderbilt, the third son of railroad magnate William Henry Vanderbilt, visited North Carolina frequently with his mother during the 1880s. Smitten with Asheville’s majestic scenery and temperate climate, the wealthy heir purchased 125,000 acres and commissioned famed New York City architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a “little mountain escape.” Hunt designed the opulent summer home in the style of working estates in Europe. Inspired by France’s Les Châteaux de la Loire, Biltmore is the largest private residence in the United States. The sprawling 4-acre, 250-room mansion took more than six years to complete. Both the interior and the exterior bear the fingerprints of George and his…