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Winter DR Resized - Hatfield House
Winter DR Resized - Hatfield House

The Winter Dining Room

This was created from what was originally a bedchamber and its adjoining withdrawing chamber; they were made into a dining room in the 1780s.

From then on, it was regularly used by the family during the winter months, right up until the First World War.

The chimneypiece, carved in marble with symbols of fruitfulness and the Earl of Salisbury’s arms, is attributed to Maximilian Colt.

When the room is not in use for exhibitions, a long mahogany dining table is surrounded by a set of late 18th-century chairs which were made in China of padouk wood and were a gift to the 1st Marchioness in 1819.

The tapestries of the Four Seasons show scenes of the everyday life of the 17th century in spring, summer, autumn and winter. The designs are based on engravings by Martin de Vos, with pagan deities representing the seasons as central figures. The borders are enlivened by a series of moralizing, and sometimes humorous, roundels taken from contemporary emblem books.

The tapestries were completed in 1611 by Ralph Sheldon at his factory in Warwickshire for the Traceys of Toddington Manor, Gloucestershire. They were bought for Hatfield by the 2nd Marquess, shortly before the visit of Queen Victoria in 1846.

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