If you visited the Royal Pavilion last week, you may have spotted a piece of the original Saloon carpet in the Music Room. Long held in storage, this piece of carpet is on loan to us from HM The Queen.
This hand-knotted carpet has been re-assembled from fragments of the original carpet commissioned by King George IV, designed by Robert Jones, and made by Samuel Whitty of Axminster, Devon, for the Saloon in 1822. It consists of four quarters stitched together as a rectangle. Sadly, the centrepiece of the original design was cut out when the carpet was removed from the Saloon between 1845 and 1847 after Queen Victoria’s decision to sell the Royal Pavilion. Parts were used at Buckingham Palace, but this is the only section to survive.
The Saloon carpet was the finest of the three famous hand-knotted carpets made for the Banqueting Room, Music Room, and Saloon by Whitty’s of Axminster. The Music Room carpet was reconstructed in 1986 and we are seeking sponsorship for the recreation of the Saloon carpet. This faded and mutilated fragment, which includes a border taken from another carpet, provides vital evidence for making a replica of the original. When reinstated in the Saloon, together with remade curtains in ‘His Majesty’s geranium and gold colour silk’, the carpet will provide that element of voluptuous comfort for which the Pavilion was famous.