“Tear catching” is used to describe the act of catching a person’s tears into a small glass or porcelain bottle to mourn the passing of a loved one. The phrase is often associated with the Victorian era and the idea that people would catch their tears in a container to use in some sort of ritualistic way.
Victorian tear catchers are a legend that has been circulating for many years with little evidence for or against the practice. A lot of the so-called Victorian tear catchers used were actually perfume bottles, which has further confused the history.
In the late 1800s, people were said to have used a handkerchief to catch their tears in and then put on their eyes to soothe them. This was believed to be beneficial because it was thought that tears contained some kind of healing power. The Victorian era is one of the most popular periods in history. The fashion, the culture, and the technology have all been studied and analyzed to death. In spite of all the historical evidence, there are still many things that historians don’t know about this era.
Did Victorians Really Use Tear Catchers?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! In fact, tear catcher bottles were as popular as they are today. They were made of glass or metal and often had a relief of a woman on them. These bottles were used by women who wanted to carry their tears with them until they could be properly mourned over later on.
Tear catcher bottles were not invented by the Victorians and the practice dates back to the ancient Greeks and romans, possibly even further to the ancient Egyptians. However, the modern revival of tear catcher bottles is a distinctly Victorian invention and it is to the 1800s that we owe the continued popularity of this very old tradition.
Victorian Mourning Practices
Victorian ladies mourned in a variety of ways. Some were more public than others, some were more private. For example, there are many accounts of women wearing a widow’s cap and black clothing to signify their mourning. In contrast, some women wore mourning dress only at home or in the company of close friends and family members.
The Victorian era is a time of strict etiquette and mourning practices with a heavy focus on propriety and manners. The death of a loved one was seen as an opportunity to mourn, not celebrate. Mourning practices were governed by the strict social rules that were created during this time. There are many different ways that Victorians mourned their loved ones, but the most common way was to wear black clothes and accessories for a certain period of time.
Mourning attire was worn for at least one year following the death of a loved one.
Victorian ladies wore black for the first six months, gray for the next six months, and white for the last six months of their mourning period. Mourning attire included long dresses, lace collars, black gloves, and black bonnets. Victorian ladies also wore veils to cover their faces when in public.