THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
MOUNT EDGCUMBE HOUSE. Nicholas Condy junior, the artist, was a friend of Lady Caroline Edgcumbe, half-sister of Fox Talbot the photographic pioneer. Condy painted many pictures of the Mount Edgcumbe estate in quite a photographic way. This, one of a pair, is unusual as it depicts estate workers and their servants. Estate workers and domestic servants were a significant workforce that powered the large estates in Cornwall. It was probably painted around 1840.
The painting shows a private kitchen, possibly on the Mount Edgcumbe farm, where all the fruit, vegetables and dairy products were produced. All three seated gentlemen look well dressed and are being served wine. Perhaps the serving couple are George Duncan Adams, his wife Hannah with their daughter, Jessie. We know that this family lived on the farm and George was a gardener there. Possibly the seated men are John Clark, the head gamekeeper in 1842, William Gregory, the farmer in 1839 and S.J. Roberts, head gardener around this time.