This lavish dining chamber, set as if for a grand banquet of lords and ladies, can be found in the famous Chatsworth House, one of the most famous stately homes in Great Britain. The decor and settings are accurate to the early 19th century (the “Second Decade” period I deal with on my podcast). In addition to the stunning silver and crystal table settings, garnished with roses from Chatsworth’s own world-famous gardens, in the background you can see Old Masters paintings dating from the 16th or 17th centuries in heavy gilt frames and a chandelier and wall sconces that at the time (1810s) would have held candles. The furniture is surprisingly simple, but in a place like this it hardly matters. If you were invited to dinner at Chatsworth in this period you could expect to rub shoulders with dukes, lords, barons, and perhaps a Prime Minister or two. This room symbolizes the apotheosis of British nobility, privilege and wealth.
Chatsworth House is one of the most well-known estates in England. Though occupied since Norman times, the main house was constructed in the 16th century and has been occupied by several generations of the Dukes of Devonshire. This dining room is closely associated with William Cavendish, the 6th Duke, known as the “Bachelor Duke,” who spent much of his time filling the house with art treasures and improving its gardens. He died in 1858 and the house, like so many other classic English estates, became increasingly difficult to maintain economically especially in the period of the world wars of the 20th century, which decimated the fortunes of British nobility. Chatsworth House is still privately owned but is open for public tours as a sort of museum, and has been used as a filming location for many movies and TV shows, including the recent The Crown, where a room in the house (though not this one) stood in for Buckingham Palace.