Posted by: Aadisht on: April 10, 2008
The Master wrote:
But I have not altogether lost hope of a sensational revival of knuttery. Already one sees signs of a coming renaissance. To take but one instance, the butler is creeping back. Extinct, it seemed, only a few short years ago, he is now repeatedly seen in his old haunts like some shy bird which, driven from its native marshes by alarums and excursions, stiffens the sinews, summons up the blood and decides to give the old home another try. True, he wants a bit more than in the golden age, but pay his price and he will buttle. In hundreds of homes there is buttling going on just as of yore. Who can say that ere long spats and knuts and all the old bung-ho-ing will not be flourishing again?
Demand for the buttling arts is rising in London, where Russian oligarchs and hedge-fund billionaires are employing servants in displays of status unrivaled since Victorian times. Across Chelsea, Mayfair and Knightsbridge “gentlemen’s gentlemen” are decanting claret, ironing creases out of newspapers and even standing ready to pilot airplanes.
“The old-style butler and old money are both few and far between these days,” said Sarah Dawkins, who runs the Guild of Professional English Butlers. “What we’re seeing is the ranks of the super-super-rich coming through, and that is a whole different ballgame.”