Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Chatsworth: The State Bedroom and Dressing Room
The imprinted leather wallpaper from the State Music Room continues into the State Bedroom. When the room was originally constructed for a visiting monarch, the first Duke bought a bed fit for a king. At £470, this was the most expensive piece of furniture in the house...and was probably never used either. The bed's amazing canopy now resides at Hardwick Hall and another impressive bed is in its place, so it is unlikely visitors will notice the former's absence. This bed just happens to be the deathbed of King George II who died in 1760. It was a gift to the 4th Duke. It wasn't until 1913 that a monarch finally slept in this monarch's-only, bedchamber: King George V and Queen Mary.
The room is kept very dark to prevent light-damage to the amazing contents. A ceiling mural of the rape of Europa, painted by Peter Lely crowns the elegant room. But what really seems to wow visiotors is the double mirrors which consist of many pieces and are crowned with the first Duke's arms. I attempted to capture these magnificent glass creations many times with my camera but failed due to the lack of light. I'm sure photographs wouldn't do justice to the craftmanship anway.
A door on the far side of the bedroom will take you to the narrow dressing room which offers spectacular views of both the south and west sides. Not much dressing took place in this "closet" but many a duchess found this to be the perfect spot to write their letters. Although the fabulous view would probably distract me.