Magical state room re-opens following major restoration

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Saloon of Royal Pavilion, 1826

Step into a room of breath-taking beauty and experience history at its visually stunning best.

Decorated for King George IV in 1823, this ornate centrepiece of Brighton’s famous royal palace by the sea, will be revealed in the dazzling splendour of its original interior design.

George IV originally commissioned Robert Jones to create a radiant principal reception room, conveying his regal splendour in gold, silver and crimson. The Saloon featured Indian-inspired decoration, superb furnishings and dramatic lighting and was a landmark in exotic design, topped with a towering dome.

Now a team of conservators, restorers and craftsmen have completed this complex restoration project to return the room to its 1823 glory. The room has been closed to the public for nearly three years while work has been carried out.

The circular room is awash with gold and silver and each element has taken hours of historic research to restore the room to as close as possible to the original design.

The specially woven red and gold drapes which were designed after a series of chance discoveries including a lost piece of fabric and a long-lost photo.

Painstaking detective work has led to a vibrant carpet which has taken months to design and is the most lavish ever created by Royal carpet makers Axminster.

Platinum motif being applied by handThe walls glimmer with hand-applied platinum leaf motifs – every one placed on individually and painted with shadows by a team of conservators.

The room is completed with furniture returned to the Royal Pavilion courtesy of the Royal Collections from Buckingham Palace including an elaborate pot pourri bowl made for the Pavilion. It is the culmination of ongoing conservation work taking place since 2004.

“We are hugely thrilled to have re-opened the magnificent Saloon to visitors” said Janita Bagshawe, Head of Royal Pavilion and Museums. “It is a room of immense historical importance and plays to the original theatricality of King George IV’s vision for the palace. Visitors will have the chance to sit and absorb the full magnificence of the Saloon’s unique and exotic design and the incredible skill involved in its restoration.”

“The Pavilion belongs to the people of Brighton and it is our responsibility to maintain it to the best condition possible. With the restoration of the Saloon visitors will be able to experience the Pavilion in the way George IV intended.”

Interviews and articles

You may also wish to interview some of the team who have restored the room or focus on an individual element of the restoration process.

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