The Public Paperfolding History Project

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Praktischer Unterricht, 1797

'Praktischer Unterricht in der neuesten Art des Tafeldeckens und Trenschirens' (Practical Instruction in the Latest Art of Table Setting and Carving) was published in Vienna in 1797. It is primarily a book about the carving of meat but also includes some information about table settings and a brief comment about napkin folding (foot of page 3 and top of page 4).

Translated to English this comment reads, 'Then the tablecloth and serviettes must be 6 quarters long and 5 wide, and the tablecloth must also hang over a few feet by half a cubit. If you can fold the serviettes it's all the better, it adorns and fills the table, even though nowadays (this skill has) badly declined, and on the tables of distinguished persons they are simply left square, presumably because people find it very difficult, the serviettes are not enhanced, but most people lack the knowledge.' (Translation by Edwin Corrie. Words in brackets interpolated to help the sense.)


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