This post is going to dispel a myth: it’s the one that has some of you thinking custom monogramming belongs to your grandmother’s generation. Though there is a storied history (we’ll give you a bit of a primer below), monograms can be chic, contemporary and even quite sexy.
Take the monogram we created for Toma Clark Haines, aka The Antiques Diva, during her reign as our brand ambassador. She told us her wishes for her very unique insignia and we worked with her to realize it. Voila! A beautifully modern monogram with plenty of history behind it was born (she is the Antiques Diva, after all!). The top and bottom images in this post are of her luxurious bedding in our High Point Market showroom during Market.
If you’ve ever wondered how to decide which letters go where, our founder Pandora de Balthazár fills us in on the intricacies of the order of things: “If there are three initials, the last one goes in the center; if there are just two, they are ordered first to last. If the insignia represents a married couple, the last name is in the center, with her first name to the left and his first name to the right. If there are two family names, both last names are overlaid in different fonts and then her first name will be on the left with his first name to right. You can use this formula with any number of multiple names.
Historical Manifestations of Monogramming
There is a great precedence in history for proclaiming one’s initials, particularly with European royalty, whom we could say invented the original monograms. Think Marie Antoinette, whose insignia above was a prolific symbol during the French queen’s reign; and Henry VIII, whose crazy love for Anne Boleyn was celebrated with the insignia below. It ornaments the façade of Hampton Court Palace to this day.
Flash forward to the Victorian Era, and there was a serious uptick in marking elements in the home with stylized insignias among the aristocracy. Not only did the flourishes containing their initials mark their monogrammed table linens, cutlery and household goods were stamped with these signs of prestige, as well.
Soon, even the lower classes got into the game with simple stamps personalized with their initials. But true intricate monogramming remained identifiers for the upper classes for decades to come. That was then, of course, and this is now; and we have seen how certain monogram styles have remained popular for nearly two centuries. One in particular that comes to mind is the Stacey Style monogram pattern, which showcases cursive letters ornamented with dainty branches of leaves.
A Pandora Precedence for Custom Monogramming
Going beyond the norm has been a long-standing tradition here at Pandora de Balthazár. After a few years of using a number of other monogram styles on our linens, including the Stacey Style, we decided it was time we had our own Pandora style. Once our clients saw the lovely looping decorative touches at fairs like Round Top and markets like High Point, they began requesting them. To our delight, the designers who source our products quickly followed suit, dressing up their clients’ homes with our artful accents. We’ve since developed a number of styles, such as the Craft style, to suit almost every taste.
There is a fineness to our monogramming that stands out, and it is valued by our customers because they see that we are bringing back an old-world lost art, and giving it a feeling of modernity. Having monograms in your home is like bringing in historical references but in delightfully unique combinations that celebrate the person whose initials are used.
Among our most popular products for monogramming is our 600-thread-count Italian sheeting in white or ivory, but, as you can see from Toma’s linens, any article for the bed can be customized. The color possibilities when adding monograms are broad, giving the surfaces visual loveliness to accentuate the sensual comfort of having fine linens nurture your body and soul. Our bespoke Pandora style monograms have been used as decorative touches in just about every style of home—from contemporary to those that have an unmistakable old-world elegance.
To further customize, we can add so many beautiful elements to our monograms, including French knots, which can be worked in metal; and padded stitches. Any of our designs can be detailed in multiple colors for even greater personalization, such as is the case with Toma’s insignia. Our mention of Henry VIII above conjures up thoughts of The Antiques Diva & Co. custom tours because they are taking place all over merry old England as we speak. Visit the page dedicated to their English tours to see just how many areas of the country they cover.
The Pandora de Balthazár Diary and this post, The Contemporary Side of Custom Monogramming, © Pandora de Balthazár, all rights reserved. Products mentioned in this and all posts can be purchased through our atelier and an array of our products are available on this site so we’d be thrilled if you’d take time to browse our collections. We also have a dynamic presence in the Arbor Antiques section of Round Top and during High Point Market. Be sure to bookmark our Calendar of Events page to keep up with all of our latest activities.