Due to high visitor numbers anticipated this weekend, 22 and 23 January, we advise booking tickets for Grinling Gibbons and John Nash exhibition entry. If you do not have a ticket booked we may not have capacity to allow entry to the exhibitions. The restaurant will be walk up service only, no table bookings.

Unknown

Lark Decoy

Details

Artist

Unknown

Title

Lark Decoy

Date

About 1800

Medium

Wood and Mirrors

Dimensions

H 31.5 cm

Reference

CVCSC:0417.F

Collection

British Folk Art

Status

On Display

Used as a hunting aid for luring larks, this would have been pushed into the ground, much like a potato dibber. The string at the back was wound round the upright, and when pulled would have made the crosspiece spin. The small mirrors would have shone in the light and attracted larks. There are various historical references to larks being used in cooking with recipes such as steak, lark and oyster pie. In Ruth Scurr’s recent biography of John Aubrey there is an interesting account of a meal which included larks: “Anno 1643. February. Tonight I watched the King dine in Christ Church… The meal was of mutton and veal (boiled and roasted), capons, hens (with eggs), partridges, pheasants, cocks, larks, beef, mallards, pig, salmon, sea flounder, venison, conies and teales with baked tart and Pippins to follow.” Entrusted to Compton Verney by Richard Russell

Lark Decoy About 1800 © Compton Verney