Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Silver Drawing Room in the Winter Palace
In an article last year, The Economist wrote of the demise of the antiques market ‘..buyers are much less interested in antiques than they were even a decade ago.'
The article went on to say that ‘..the desire to live in the presence of history has ebbed and flowed.' For a moment dismay; hoping my research on the furniture in the Winter Palace is part of the flow.
In 1784, Paul I and Marie Feodorovna traveled through Europe as Comte and Comtesse du Nord. They went on a shopping spree in Paris with the furniture merchant D. Daguerre, returning to St. Petersburg with 'secretaires' and commodes with Wedgwood and Sèvres porcelain panels.
In the Silver Drawing Room on the 2nd floor of the Winter Palace a few pieces from 1784 were placed among the furniture designed by N. Nabokov in 1896 for Nicholas II and Alexandra.
Photograph of the Silver Drawing Room in 1899 (below) showing on the right the commode with panels of Wedgwood
Photograph of the commode (below) that can be seen now in the former 1st Spare Room 296
Photograph of the Silver Drawing Room today (below) with the beautifully restored ceiling (silver is retained around the door frames)
Panorama of Alexandra's former Empire Drawing Room, Silver Drawing Room and Study