Something is missing!

photograph of the Music Room showing the central chandelier and fireplace
Music Room

As you walk through the Royal Pavilion you will notice that painted images on the walls and ceilings appear to come to life, finding three-dimensional form in wood carvings and sculptures. Above the curtains and drapes in the Music Room you will see colourful carvings of dragons and serpents, seemingly escaped from the painted walls. However, look again and you will see that something is missing… there are no three-dimensional pagodas.

The Music Room originally featured six impressive pagodas – two standing twelve feet high either side of the fireplace and four standing fifteen feet high between the windows. Made of porcelain and decorated with ornate bells, dolphins and lions, these giant pagodas were specially commissioned by the Prince Regent and transported from China. They were central to the Music Room’s design – without them, the Music Room is incomplete. We now have an opportunity to return two pagodas to the Music Room – but we need your help.

Photo of female conservator examining sections of a porcelain pagoda
Expert ceramics conservator Penny Bendall assesses the pagodas for restoration work

Only 16 similar pagodas remain in existence anywhere in the world. While the original Music Room pagodas are housed at Buckingham Palace, we have two pagodas from the same workshop, of almost exactly the same form and design, in our collection. Unfortunately, the porcelain is incredibly fragile and the pagodas are in poor condition. Some sections are broken while others are missing.  They urgently need restoration to return them to their former beauty before they can be displayed.

In order to save the pagodas and return them to the Music Room, the Royal Pavilion & Museums Foundation must raise £50,000. We are delighted to say that we are already over half way to this target thanks to a legacy donation and support from generous individuals. We are now asking you to join us in saving the pagodas by making a donation to the Pagoda Restoration Appeal.

How you can help

It takes donations of all sizes to restore the pagodas:

Your gift of £20 could help recast one of the 120 lions

Your gift of £50 could help recast one of the 96 bells

Your gift of £100 could help recast one of the 96 dolphins

Your gift of £250 could help restore one of the 16 porcelain tier sections

Your gift of £1,000 could help restore one of the 6 large porcelain roof sections

Your gift of £5,000 could help restore one of the 2 pagoda bases

Your support will make a huge step towards reinstating the Prince Regent’s original vision. Just imagine how beautiful the two pagodas will look once returned to their rightful place, with the twinkling sound of bells filling the air. The Music Room will finally feel complete!

More about the pagodas

  • Only 16 porcelain pagodas are known to exist anywhere in the world
  • Each pagoda is decorated with 60 lions and 48 dolphins holding 48 bells in their mouths
  • Each pagoda is 12 feet high and comprises 9 tiers, 9 roofs and a decorative finial
  • The original pagodas were placed in the Music Room in 1817
  • The two pagodas were acquired by the Royal Pavilion from Sir Kenneth Clark