The magnificent stately home of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire has had a rich and illustrious history. This new exhibition running between 25th March and 22nd October looks back at the notable ladies who have lived here and their changing fashions over the last 500 years.
The history of the house begins in the Tudor period in 1553 when William Cavendish and his wife Bess of Hardwick started building the house. Bess came from an ordinary background, yet through a series of well-made marriages, rose to becoming the second most powerful woman in England- second only to Queen Elizabeth I. It was at Chatsworth House that Mary Queen of Scots was kept as a prisoner under house arrest at intervals between 1569 and 1584 before she was beheaded. During their time together, the two ladies created a number of beautiful tapestries, known as the Oxburgh Hangings. Being also one of the richest women in England, one can be sure that Bess possessed the finest of Tudor jewels- perhaps a diamond set ring such as reference 26425 would not have been out of place on her finger?
Another famous and extravagant occupant of Chatsworth was the famous socialite and ‘Empress of Fashion' Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire who married the 5th Duke of Devonshire. Their marriage was famously unhappy, yet she could console herself with her exquisite array of 18th century jewels.
The 20th century saw the Cavendish family marrying many famous names: in 1932 Adele Astaire, the sister and dance partner of Fred Astaire; American socialite and ‘debutante of 1938' ‘Kick' Kennedy, John F Kennedy's sister; and Deborah, the youngest of the six famous aristocratic (and often scandalous!) Mitford sisters who were prominent in society in the 30s and 40s all married into the family.
The exhibition is sure to provide a wealth of visual exuberance, showing off the foremost fashions of these extraordinary women as well as their all-important jewellery. From the Tudor period through to Georgian, Art Deco and retro pieces of the 1940s, discover Berganza's complete collection by browsing online or visiting us in store.