Brighton Short Breaks is a known fan of the stately home, and this interest in how people lived in the 18th and 19th Century and even into the beginning of the 20th Century is becoming more apparent with television shows like Downton Abbey becoming household favourites. It is human nature to be interested in how other people live or lived whether it be upstairs or downstairs. A common theme which you can spot in a lot of different houses throughout Britain is either Chinese decorations of Chinese pottery and ceramics. Everyone has heard of a ‘ming’ vase and these types of decoration were common throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries. There are examples of it at Brighton Royal Pavillion as King George loved chinoiserie, the decorative style inspired by China. The Long Gallery especially is filled with lanterns, exotic furnishings and Chinese objects d’art and specialised bamboo furniture. One of our most favourite examples of the British love of Chinese decoration is at Harewood House. What would have just been an ordinary guest bedroom is now known as the Chinese Bedroom due to the fantastic display of wallpaper in it. The wallpaper was discovered by accident by the house and collections team a few years ago. It was folded and stored in a box in one of the warehouses on the Harewood land. Due to the fact it had been so carefully packed away means it is now one of the most perfect examples of Chinese wallpaper in Europe. The conservation team rehung it on the walls of the bedroom and each wall represents a significant part of China. The pictures depict the production of tea, silk, pottery and rice in minute detail – one section for each wall, and not once is the detail replicated. You can clearly see why there was a fascination for this type of decor and it is great that we can still see fantastic examples like this.
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