It was not until the 19th century that the average middle class home had a formal room for dining. Although the room might only have been used on Sunday or for dinner parties, the dining room became an essential part of a Victorian residence. The dining room suite consisted of a table, matching chairs, sideboard and, very often, a glass cabinet.
A proper Victorian table would have been set with elegant china. It would also have been set with sparkling rich cut stemware in one pattern, much the same as “Russian” or “Star and Hobnail” on view here. Exceptions were made for the individual cut glass serving pieces, which could include a covered cheese, mayonnaise set, castor set, or worcestershire bottle.
The Victorian dining room, like the parlor, set the tone and style of the residence. It was a place to show off the homeowner’s possessions and let their guests see that they owned “the best that money could buy.”