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Margaret, Duchess of Portland; the17th-century master of horsemanship,William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle;and the reclusive fifth Duke, associatedwith Welbeck's extraordinary maze oftunnels, have all featured.This year, the Treasury is dominatedby a huge painting of the Countess ofPortland taking tea. In the painting, sheis surrounded by her many children andtheir spouses in a baroque interior,perhaps at Kensington Palace where thePortland family had apartments. Signedby Charles Phillips and dated 1732, thiswell-connected group includes LadyMary Grey; William, first Count Bentinck;Lady Barbara Godolphin; William, fourthLord Berkeley of Stratton; and the HonCharles John Bentinck. Another branch of this famous family,the Harleys, is linked to the Chinese-style silver tea table displayed nearby. Itis engraved with the arms of EdwardHarley, created second Earl of Oxford in1724. It bears no hallmarks, but aLondon silversmith -Edward Holadaywho died in 1719 -has struck hismaster's mark, so the arms must be alater addition. Edward Harley's daughterMargaret married William Bentinck,second Duke of Portland, and becamefamous as the collecting Duchess, apatron of Captain Cook, and eventuallyowner of the Portland Vase. Her greatfriend Mrs Delaney, celebrated in anexhibition at the Soane Museum (seeWhat's On, page 14), shared herenthusiasms and one can imagine thetwo women enjoying delicate 'triffles' or'floating islands' -desserts included inthe Duchess's recipe book and servedon her Chelsea leaf dishes (bothfeatured in the show). Another silver rarity is a massivefountain made in 1680 by the Dutchcourt goldsmith Adam Loofs for thevictorious William of Orange as a thankyou offering for leading the Dutchagainst the French. It was later crownedwith the Cavendish crest. Its route toWelbeck was indirect. Presumably,William III sent it to the Jewel House atthe Tower when he became jointmonarch with Mary Stuart. By custom,royal servants were issued with silver forofficial use and could retain it onretirement. Although Robert Harley wasimprisoned in the Tower under theHanoverians, he retained much of the9,000oz of buffet, table and fireplacesilver he had received as Speaker of theHARLEY GALLERY24NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2010www.nadfas.org.uk

HARLEY GALLERYHouse of Commons and Secretary ofState to Queen Anne. While the two Dutchfountains aren't listed, it is likely they camewith Harley's other royal perquisite plate. Each case in the Treasury takes adifferent theme: dinner and dessert inthe 18th century; entertaining andshopping in Regency London; provisionsfrom the estate; and how the servantsate and drank. Dinner mattered: a tabledressed with silver and porcelain, withdishes cooked by a French chef and adessert made by an Italian confectionerwas essential for the status of a greatWhig noble family. Even when cash wasshort during the Napoleonic Wars, theDuke of Portland maintained the oldtradition of hospitality, keeping openhouse or 'public days' when as many as60 local gentry sat down to dinner. In fact, the third Duke was rarely atWelbeck, failing even to attend the 21stparty of his son Lord William in August1795. As Home Secretary and later PrimeMinister during Britain's long wars againstRevolutionary France and Napoleon, hehad good reasons for staying in London.This was a time of hardship, when a loafof wheat bread quadrupled in price, withfood riots and suffering among the poor,so that the Duke made it governmentpolicy for newspapers to publish CountRumford's recipes for cooking potatoesas an alternative food source.Top: The 1915wedding of LordTitchfield, whobecame theseventh DukeAbove: The sixthDuke with hiswife at Welbeckin 1893 Left:Porcelainand silver gilt forthe dessertThrough his many food bills and listsof the valuable old Tokay and matureMadeira stored in the cellars atBurlington House in 1781, we canglimpse the third Duke's discerning tastein food and wine. Although the Dukewas unable to afford to buy a Londonhouse, he lived in some splendour atBurlington House on Piccadilly, whichbelonged to his brother-in-law, the Dukeof Devonshire. Entertaining was a socialduty, requiring lavish and fashionabletableware as well as food and drink.The country house, a world of its own,was the centre of a productive estate.Home-brewed beer, bread from theWelbeck bakehouse, freshwater fish fromthe ponds, and wildfowl and venisonwere assets to be enjoyed. Freshproduce, plus hothouse fruit, jams andjellies were sent to London by the weeklycarrier or given to friends in the region.On one occasion, ice from the icehousewas sent 20 miles to Lord Fitzwilliamwhen he was entertaining the Prince ofWales at Wentworth Woodhouse.Rank and a strict hierarchy applied tothe servants' food and drink. In theStewards Room, upper servants atewith silver flatware, drank from silvertankards and enjoyed a choice ofdishes, whereas the lower servants hadsimpler food and drank beer rather thanport. An unusual Welbeck householdwww.nadfas.org.ukNADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2010 object is a Victorian beer distributor fromthe Servants Hall. The maids also hadthe privilege of drinking tea, served froma silver pot in the Housekeeper's Room.The Harley Gallery is known for itscreative patronage of artists. Typical ofits imaginative interpretation, and thanksto an Arts Council Museumaker grant,the installation in the summer by theartist Jane Wildgoose will play with thisfamily story of dining and drinking. Dining with a Dukeruns for two yearsfrom April. Call01909 501700 or visitwww.harleygallery.co.ukfor details