A story in 100 objects
This oil painting by Nicholas Condy the Elder (1793 – 1857) of estate workers in a kitchen interior is on display in the Morning Room of Mount Edgcumbe House, together with a similar painting of estate staff in a servants hall. Such depictions of imagined ‘moments in time’ showing servants, their children and animals were popular in 19th century England.
Nicholas Condy was born in Torpoint in 1793. In 1811 he enlisted in the army as an ensign and fought against the armies of Napoleon during the Peninsula War in Spain and Portugal. He was discharged in 1818 as a Lieutenant and received a pension for the rest of his life.
After 1818 Condy became a professional painter in Plymouth, working in both oils and watercolours. Initially he produced mainly small watercolours which he sold locally. In addition to genre scenes like those in the Morning Room at Mount Edgcumbe he also painted building exteriors, landscapes, marine scenes and some portraits. From 1830 he was exhibiting at galleries in London including the Royal Academy.
Both the 2nd and 3rd Earls of Mount Edgcumbe were patrons of Condy. As a result he produced many paintings of both Mount Edgcumbe and Cotehele. His portrait of the 2nd Earl is in the Mount Edgcumbe collection. His painting of The Court Dinner at Cotehele is also on display in Mount Edgcumbe House together with prints of his watercolour paintings of the exterior of the house.
Condy also taught the 3rd Countess to paint. A number of her paintings are now in the Mount Edgcumbe collection including a portrait of a bearded man and a landscape view from Mount Edgcumbe. Some of her sketches also survive in the Mount Edgcumbe archives.
Condy died in Plymouth in 1857 and was buried in St Andrews churchyard.
“Both the 2nd and 3rd Earls of Mount Edgcumbe were patrons of Condy. As a result he produced many paintings of both Mount Edgcumbe and Cotehele.“
- 01: Winstanley's Light
- 02: Brothers George and Richard
- 03: Electric Fire
- 04: Jardiniere
- 05: Saluting Guns
- 06: Wallet and Letters
- 07: Bronze Age Irish Horns
- 08: The Great Harry
- 09: Boulle Desk and Bureau
- 10: HMS Royal Oak Casket
- 11: Cookworthy Jars
- 12: Edema Painting
- 13: Esau Cabinet
- 14: William Henry
- 15: Prieu Dieu
- 16: Grand Piano