The Cork Mansion House Dinner Service
The above plates are banqueting plates which were part of a very large dinner service used in the Old Mansion House Cork (Now the Mercy Hospital) a building which is well worth seeing inside. With its magnificent sweeping staircase and also some of the original stucco plastering, there was (and may be still) two marble mantle fire places designed by the Bossie Brothers who possessed the secret of inlaying in coloured marble after the style of Robert Adams. The Mansion House was erected in 1767. David Duckart. was the architect King William the IV when serving in the Pegasus as Prince William was entertained there in 1785.
The symbols round the plate tell us a lot about old Cork. On the top is the Cap of Maintenance signifying the continuity of the Mayor and Corporation. On the left and right are the dart, The Mayor being the Admiral of the port took ship every year and off Blackrock Castle threw the dart and where it landed was the bounds of jurisdiction.
The Mace has a very long history, the original was a club to ward off attacks by enemies, as was also the sword.
At the base the port cullas which were used when the city was surrounded by walls to prevent enemy ships from entering by the channel at Castle Street.
The circular chain with the Royal Crown at the top and the rose interlinked with the letter S. said by some to stand for Saint Simplimus, was presented by Queen Elizabeth the first in 1571 to Maguire Roche Mayor of Cork.
The coat of arms was designed by C. R. Payne. The castles represent the kings’ and Queens’ Old Castle. The ship shows in the rigging, the Cock reminding us of the denial of Christ.