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Souvenir Coasters to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee
My mother’s generation endured days of long hard housework and took precautions to make sure that dirt and stains were reduced.
One of these precautions was to use the coaster- basically a small attractive mat on which sat your glass or hot drink in order not to mar the beauty of a polished table. There are many people who still use them today- I would not have a drink in my In Laws house without using a bone china coaster to put my cup on.
Why they were popular?
Coasters have been popular with housewives and housekeepers for centuries. They were originally made to protect the table and linen from wine or beer stains. Imagine the 16th century maid pounding the dirty linen to get a red wine stain out, without the benefit of our modern 40degree wash!!
If you browse the Internet you will see a large number of antique coasters, often made of ornate silver, they would have been an expensive addition to a wealthy mans house. I suspect that poorer people would have made do with a small piece of wood or pot.
Diamond Jubilee Souvenir Coasters
The 21st century has seen this tradition continue but with a difference. I think that the influence of the plastic mouse mat, its acceptability in even a formal domestic situation, has led to a proliferation of plastic coasters. These little items have the advantage that they are cheap, can be wiped clean and can be changed according to seasons and taste.
So I was not surprised to come across this batch of coasters available on Amazon to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. I doubt that Her Majesty would use such an item but the younger ones would do, recognising the place of tradition and Innovation in the 21st century Royal Family.
There are the traditional square coasters, cork backed, with a wipe clean surface with glorious colour photographs of the Queen, or the official Diamond Jubilee symbol digitally printed onto a coaster, just the right size for your mug of tea or coffee. Not forgetting the coaster with the Union Jack print on to add to your patriotic fervour.
However I must say that my favourites are the Innovative ones. During the Second World War there were a number of slogans such as “Keep Calm and Carry on” and this type of slogan has been used to produce coasters with such messages as “Keep Corgis and Look Regal” and my favourite “Keep calm and Reign on”.
How to get rid of those red wine stains!
If you do manage to avoid buying or forgetting the coasters and do get your fine linen stained with red wine, a tip I have read is to put salt on it immediately as the salt absorbs the wine and stops it from staining! If there is a white ring on your table use some elbow grease and furniture polish. I have heard that ironing the stain with a piece of cloth in between the wood and the iron, works- but I would be too scared to try that one!!