Author: Jennifer Rabe

Sugar and Fire

The ambivalence of inventories, which rarely add the exact purpose of crucibles, pans and preserving jars, requires great caution when classifying rooms as laboratories. Places that obviously served as laboratories, such as the fonderia in the Uffizi in Florence, can be used as a comparison. The fonderia included a glass…

Room of Experiment

The Pranketing Room functioned as a kind of experimental kitchen laboratory for Lady Arundel and her servants. The paintings in the room can be read in relation to these practices and the Countess’s knowledge. The furnishings of Tart Hall indicate her role as a natural philosopher and her knowledge of…

Prank Banqueting

The name and location of the Lady Arundel’s Pranketing Room at Tart Hall are the key to identify the building as a banqueting house. This kind of building was an English invention for the so-called banqueting course, a particularly elaborate, artful and expensive part of a court banquet in which…

The Dutch Room

The most lavishly furnished space in Tart Hall was the two-story Pranketing Room, a building separated from the main house. There exists a separate inventory of the room also referred to as the Pranketing House and Dutch Pranketing Room in the overall inventory of the house (Juliet Claxton, The Countess…

Guidebook Hierarchies

Publications addressing skills and duties of housewives and privileged gentlewomen had been widespread in England since the late sixteenth century. They date far earlier than Henry Peacham’s Compleat Gentleman which seems to have been devised as a counterpart to the guides for women, discussing appropriate education and interests for a…

Chymicall Extractions

After the long list of medicines for various illnesses, Lady Arundel turns to the basics of chymistry. A list of symbols for quantities common among physicians is followed by a series of “Chymical Extractions”, which, unlike the previous recipes, contain numerous technical terms and are thus rather difficult to understand.…

Foscarini’s Fall

On April 8, 1622, the Doge had Antonio Foscarini, then a member of the Senate, arrested. The Senate accused Foscarini, since his time in London a notorious bon vivant, of high treason and conspiracy. Foscarini had been part of the Senate himself since 1620, but was accused of visiting the…
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