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In the Victorian era, men’s facial hair was an important means of signifying masculinity. Beards and mustaches were viewed as “natural” indicators of masculinity, setting men apart from women and men unable to grow facial hair.
Everyday items reflected this importance. This mustache teacup from approximately 1870 provided a barrier between a man’s mustache and his hot drink, ensuring it wouldn’t get wet. Furthermore, men during this period often used wax to shape their mustaches. Without protection, a hot drink could ruin the shape of the mustache, and the wax could ruin the man’s drink!

Mustachioed man, c. 1890-1920. Note that the mustache is shaped at the edges.