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George IV chinoiserie returns for a spell to its intended home

Nicola Turner Inman, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts (Projects) at Royal Collection Trust unpacks, literally and metaphorically, the treasures.

With little time to spare the stunning overdoors at the far end of the Banqueting Hall were freshly in place for the Regency Society to enjoy while sipping wine after the Antony Dale lecture (photo above).

As you will know many of the original contents of the Pavilion were removed by Queen Victoria when she set up the family home elsewhere, but, over time, many items were returned. However, not all.  Those on display now are on loan from the East Room of Buckingham Palace while it undergoes reservicing.  They are George IV's acquisitions and commissions for his Brighton pleasure palace.

Nicola took us on a lively tour through the history of the Royal Collection and George IV's eye for stunning design of eclectic influence.  Apparenty the King took advantage of the breakup of the French aristocratic collection thus bringing together his passion for French decorative art and the orient.

The six porcelain pagodas share the side walls of the Music Room as he intended. The Orleans jars, Chinese porcelain, with French bronze gilded bases altered in England to be gas lamps, stand in the front corners of the room. The gilded clock and Chinese porcelain candelabras on the fireplace mantel further embellish the room.  Other rooms have also benefitted from the loan and no doubt deserve a visit. It is said that the Royal Pavilion looks more magnificent than it has ever done since the reign of George IV.

We are told that it is the Queen's generosity that has enabled this exhibition. Nicola has been winning messenger.

Photos: Robert Ashby, John McKean, Kate Ormond

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