At the head of a 20-foot table, the squat silver urn looks as if it should be under glass. It has been so meticulously polished that not a spot of tarnish can be found among the ornate ribbons and miniature flowers decorating its edges. A water spout emerging from its center points like an arthritic finger at the woman sitting before it, as if accusing her of a social blunder. "I have no idea what I'm doing, I have to admit," Talbott Maxey says in... More >>>
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At top, Talbot Maxey pours tea for the first time at the Four Arts. Longer-standing members, including Valerie Fleming, at right, take half-hour turns acting as servants at the tea parties. The Four Arts rents out a team of white-clad maids, one of whom is shown at left, to pass out finger sandwiches.