The green velvet bed chamber at Houghton Hall. From Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House (David Cholmondeley and Andrew Moore, Derry Moore photography). I bought the book for the textiles! The beds! The covered stools with threadbare silks and gilded paw feet! Built in the 1720’s for prime minister Sir Robert Walpole. The silver and gold trim are a bit subdued, tarnished as they are by time, but records show that the cost for the trimmings alone was 1219 pounds in 1732. How they must have glittered in the candlelight!
The Brussels tapestries were probably ordered for this room and recently restored under the direction of the V & A museum Victoria & Albert Houghton Hall. The Prince of Wales slept here in 1797, the Duke of Wellington several times. I don’t want to poach too much from this fabulous book. Look here for more Houghton Hall. Above photo from San Francisco Cottages and Gardens (with additional photos) here
This must be where my recent passion for green has originated. With all the dark, moody grays in the last few years…grayed teals and scintillating greens are beginning to speak to me more and more! My husband has been playing golf in Scotland the last 10 days and I’ve been playing textiles! Where I used to move plants around in the garden, then moved on to paint cans, my medium is now a bit more delicate, but far less messy! Though I am thinking of painting those doors. Or insetting distressed mirror in the top panels. They are 19th c theater doors (unfinished on the back) so they are not too precious to be tampered with! More on mirrored doors later!
The fabric above is a French 18th c “chine a la branche” floral ikat imberline (silk/linen) panel, and 18th c or earlier Italian silk and metallic embroidery couched onto velvet. Lately I have this penchant for HUGE pillows and though someday I could reapply the embroidery to several smaller pillows, for now I want to enjoy the composition as is. For Napoleon lovers…click the link below to enjoy a fabulous collection of Napoleon memorabilia at a recent auction. Napoleon slept in some amazing beds, but in the war of beds…I do think the Duke of Wellington won that one as well.
To flip through the catalog click here