NOTES ON THE ARTWORK
The Drapers’ Company customarily marked the appointment of wardens with an Election Dinner. This account details the lavish feast held for Grinling Gibbons and three other wardens in August 1705 in which venison featured prominently along with ribs of beef, mutton, lobsters, Westphalian (German) ham, tarts, Florentines and custards, as well as delicacies such as oranges and lemons. Dinners such as this would have been useful occasions for Gibbons to expand his social connections and potential client base. Although he was successful in moving up the Company’s hierarchy, reaching Second Master Warden and even Master Warden, he never successfully attained the supreme role of Master, in spite of several election attempts.
Three (Henry Robins, Grinling Gibbons and William Lovett) of the four wardens elected, for whom the dinner was being held, authorise the bill with their signatures as this financial role of managing accounts was a key part of their warden duties.