Sailor’s Wedding, 1863

This oil painting shows a scene from a sailor’s wedding. It was painted in 1863 by James Clarke Hook.

A feast for your eyes

The newly married couple are enjoying a wedding feast, with food served by older people.

Given that these are sailors, seated in a boat on a beautiful bay, what do you think they are eating?

Answer

They are eating roast chickens (or another type of bird).

If, like me, you expected them to be eating fish, that’s probably a case of your brain making rapid associations between things related to the sea.

But for a wedding feast, chickens are much more appropriate. At this time, chickens and other fowl would have been considered a luxury food. It was not until the introduction of mechanical processing techniques after the Second World War that chicken became a relatively cheap, everyday meat.

Author: Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager

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