Roseland Cottage

Careful cleaning

The Bowens owned fine china and crystal, silverware, tea sets, and damask table linens for entertaining. Lucy’s and Henry’s Sevres service included tureens, a fish plate, meat platters, pitchers, compotes, and delicate coffee cups and saucers. Each piece, decorated with gold leaf, required careful handling. The scullery maid scraped each dish with care and then washed it with even more delicacy lest the gold be scratched. Silverware was kept brightly polished by the maids; glassware sparkled. Food stains on the white tablecloths were removed by the laundress and the cloths crisply ironed after washing. Henry’s and Ellen’s Fourth of July receptions, for as many as three hundred guests, demanded an extraordinary amount of work.