A. CHAVALLIER TAYLER’S MURAL (1903)
Sir Henry Richard, Master of the vintner’s company, entertaining the Kings of Cyprus, England, Scotland, Denmark and France.
The mural most probably refers to the visit of Peter A’, King of Cyprus, to London and as well as other European countries in the Medieval Age and the banquets during his visits, in order to ask for financial support for the organizing of a crusade.
In medieval banquets the guests were seated only on one side of the table, as that they could follow the spectacles presented and to make the serving easier. Cups of tin or silver, sometimes even wood, were often used and the servants made certain they were always full. Large silver jars filled with wine were presented to the guests. Serving and toasting followed. According to strict protocol ladies only drank from gold and silver cups. Various texts inform us of the kinds of wines presented in formal banquets. First in line came the Mediterranean wines – those of Cyprus, of Malvasia and Italy, and then followed the French. Cyprus wines are often cited first.
The mural depicted in the Cyprus Wine Museum is a copy from the mural that is housed today in the Royal Exchange in London. The Royal Exchange is owned by the Mercer’s Company and the cooperation of the city of London. (Jointly known as the Joint Grand Gresham Committee) The series of the 24 mural paintings were created between 1895 -1920 to decorate the walls of the inner courtyard. Each painting is approximately 22 feet tall and 11 feet wide. The mural is reproduced for the Cyprus Wine Museum by courtesy of the Joint Grand Gresham Committee.