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Curious Cabinets

close up of wooden cabinet decorated with inlaid flowers and birds

There are many cabinets in the Royal Collection – some hold surprising secrets. This decorative cabinet is one of a pair in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. Can you guess what is special about it?

Pair of side cabinets, with ebony veneer and white marble top; interiors of tulipwood, purplewood and box. Central section contains five drawers, covered by a door inset with 12 Florentine pietra dura panels, depicting flowers and birds. Flanked by two ro

Two side cabinets ©

The cabinet is actually part of a secret door, through which The King enters the State Rooms for special occasions! The huge glass mirror behind the cabinet opens like a gigantic door, and the cabinet moves with it. Can you locate the secret door is in this 360 view of the White Drawing Room?

Image credit: Will Pearson | Eye Revolution

If you could have a secret door in your house, where would you like it to lead to?

The French cabinet-maker and upholsterer Nicholas Morel (fl.1790-1830), who had first worked for George IV at Carlton House in the 1790s, was appointed in July 1826 to furnish the new royal apartments at Windsor Castle, then being extensively remodelled b

Bath cabinet ©

This colourful cabinet was designed for George IV’s bedroom, which also served as the King’s bathroom. Based on its shape and the room where it was kept, what do you think the cabinet was used for? It might not look like it now, but this cabinet was once a bathtub! The top could be removed, enabling the King to have a bath in the comfort of his bedroom. It must not have been a very practical or comfortable bathtub, and so it was later converted into an ordinary cabinet.

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Attributed to Martin Carlin (1730-85)

Two side cabinets 1770 - 1830

Morel & Seddon

Bath cabinet 1828