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Office of Morel & Seddon

Design for the east elevation of the Great Drawing Room, Room 188 (the Crimson Drawing Room) Windsor Castle, c.1826 c. 1827

Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil | 31.3 x 90.3 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 931280

  • The partnership between Nicholas Morel and George Seddon was formed in 1827 to supply furniture and upholstery for George IV's new Private Apartments on the east and south sides of the Upper Ward of the castle. These newly created rooms were intended to replace the old State Apartments on the north side of the Upper Ward which had not been in normal use by the Royal Family since the death of Charles II. As a means of obtaining the King's approval for their proposals, the partners supplied a series of 'miniature designs' showing the intended detail of curtains and upholstery and the disposition of the furniture. These miniature designs, the majority of which have been acquired by Her Majesty The Queen, first appeared at auction in 1970.

    The Crimson Drawing Room, looking over the East Terrace Garden towards the Home Park, was the principal reception room in an interconnecting suite created by Sir Jeffry Wyatville within the medieval walls of the castle, on the site of apartments previously occupied by Queen Charlotte and her daughters. The layout of these rooms mirrored a very similar arrangement at Carlton House and many of the fixtures and furnishings for the Crimson Drawing Room at Windsor were taken from its namesake at Carlton House. Great attention and expenditure were lavished on the curtains, passementerie (decorative trimmings) and wall hangings throughout the new apartments. The material shown in the 'miniature designs' was a striped poppy-coloured velvet, supplied by the mercer W.E. King at a cost of £3 13s. per yard; this was by some margin the most expensive fabric used at Windsor.

    The intended furniture scheme included four marble and gilt bronze tables by A.-L. Bellangé, purchased at the Watson Taylor sale in 1825, two of which are shown here. These were rejected by George IV and in due course reused in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. In the centre of the window bay stood a gilt bronze and marble 'font' (no longer in the Royal Collection), given to George IV by Pope Pius VII in 1816 in recognition of Britain's role in assisting the return to Rome of art treasures seized by Napoleon during campaigns in Italy. Around the walls are shown part of Morel & Seddon's extensive suite of seat furniture.

    The Crimson Drawing Room was almost totally destroyed in the fire of 1992 and has since been meticulously restored.

    Catalogue entry from Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London 2002

    Sotheby's, London, 9 April 1970 (164); bought by M.D.I.; Sotheby's, London, 15 November 1990 (30).

    Purchased 1990

  • Medium and techniques

    Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil


    31.3 x 90.3 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Other number(s)

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