Lady's maid

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Mistress and Maid / Lady with Her Maidservant Holding a Letter - Jan Vermeer van Delft

A lady's maid is a female personal attendant who waits on the lady of the house. The position is very similar to a gentleman's valet. Traditionally, in eras past, the lady's maid was not as high-ranking as a lady's companion, who was a retainer rather than a servant, but the rewards included room and board, travel and somewhat improved social status. In Britain, a lady's maid was addressed by her surname by her employer. The lady's maid was addressed as Miss by junior servants or when visiting in another servants' hall. In the servants' hall, a lady's maid took precedence akin to that of her mistress. A lady's maid's specific duties included helping her mistress with her appearance, including make-up, hairdressing, clothing, jewellery, and shoes. A lady's maid would also remove stains from clothing; sew, mend, and alter garments as needed; bring her mistress breakfast in her room; and draw her mistress's bath. However, she would not be expected to dust or sweep, which duties would instead be performed by a housemaid.

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