though much of it was of forms and uses quite unknown to
me. But prominent in it was a draped table with a gilded
looking glass, and I made that out at first sight to be a fine
lady's dressing table."
~Charles Dickens, 'Great Expectations'
I have been working on this post for quite awhile - taking photographs and choosing the ones I liked best. I love dressing tables - they make me think of old-world fashion and femininity. Ladies in powdered wigs or bustled gowns preparing for evening festivities. Every detail perfected before they step from their rooms to the arm of their escort. Crystal jars filled with delicate creams and powders, silver handled brushes, and satin-lined boxes carrying precious stones to be draped and fastened around perfumed necks and wrists. In the early morning, young girls in silk or linen shifts splashing water from porcelain pitchers and basins and then sitting before a mirror while deft hands arrange their curls. ...
Or perhaps more close to home - my sister, her makeup strewn across the surface of a painted vanity, applying pink to her cheeks with a long brush. Vintage strands of pearls bought on a holiday trip dangling from my Mother's dressing table mirror, and a birthday card I gave her a year ago standing to one side. I remember the day I walked up to the store front of my favorite shop and gasped at the little cream vanity standing in the window. It was perfect for my room. Or the ornate antique dressing table my Mum and I rounded a corner of an antique mall and found ourselves glued to the spot in surprise and delight at the sight of it's ladylike curves. I love them all! They are a discovery I shared with my family and will share myself in the future, because when I sit at a dressing table I can't help but feel more graceful, more womanly, more in touch with that elusive poise that was so second nature to women of the past. ...