Postcards from Britain - Blenheim Palace, Part 4

When you go into the main entrance of Blenheim Palace you find yourself in a beautiful open space which establishes the awesome surroundings and splendor of the interior. Original and reproduced, captured French battle standards of the vanquished French armies are displayed in various rooms.

Aside from marveling at the fact that for centuries this entire place was a private residence, the great thing about seeing the interior of a place like Blenheim Palace is the ability to see a private collection of fine art. Art that you will never see in any public museum, and that has been in a family for many generations is always extra special to me.

In a section off to the right of the main hall hangs an impressively huge portrait of the first Duke, John Churchill and his family. Sitting on a table in front of the painting is a beautiful silver sculpture.

The sculpture is actually a dining table centerpiece that was used in many formal dinners hosted by the various Marlboroughs throughout the centuries. It depicts a victorious John Churchill writing what is known as the “Blenheim dispatch”. Basically after leading the British to victory in the battle of Blenheim, in Germany, he takes a moment to write to his wife Sarah, saying something like “… tell the Queen she has had a great victory at Blenheim.” Below are a couple details of the sculpture.

This scene is immortalized throughout Blenheim palace in paintings, sculptures, and tapestries.