Did you know that Lady Georgina Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire (Princess Diana’s great-great-great-great aunt), once openly opined to a footman, “I wish to God you wouldn’t keep rubbing your great greasy belly against the back of my chair?”
Now whether that is why we have dumb waiters is not certain. But, what is certain is that dumb waiters were found to be very convenient for 18th century diners who did not relish eavesdropping servants attending to them the entire meal.
The basic concept of dumb waiters was to hold additional plates and utensils or cheese and dessert and possibly glasses and bottles to which diners could help themselves following dinner. Generally consisting of three tiers of rotating trays that graduated in size from the bottom to top, dumb waiters were also equipped with castors so they could be easily moved from the side of the room and closer to the table.
While most meals today are less likely to have a footman present, dumb waiters still offer the convenience of having everything at one’s fingertips. What could be more convenient than finding a variety of fine 18th century dumb waiters only at Mill House Antiques. More than an ordinary experience.