The Long Gallery

In George IV’s day, guests were led into the Entrance Hall by footmen, then entered the Long Gallery. The Long Gallery linked all the main state rooms including the Banqueting Room and the Music Room.

The walls of the Long Gallery were painted with a design of trees, rocks, shrubs and birds against a pink background. The present scheme is a 1950s reconstruction of the original, intended to evoke a bamboo grove.

The Long Gallery

The Long Gallery was dramatically lit by a large, central painted-glass ceiling, with brightly painted lanterns for extra light in the evenings. The Royal Pavilion was an ‘evening’ building. The lanterns were not just for light, but part of the whole dramatic effect.

Full of exotic furnishings and Chinese objets d’art, the Long Gallery uses clever decorative techniques such as iron cast to imitate bamboo, furniture in beech simulating bamboo, and carefully placed mirrors.

A Prince’s Treasure: The Royal Collection Returns to Brighton

George’s taste for the oriental and the exotic was partly inspired by his mother, Queen Charlotte. As a little boy he would have seen Chinese nodding figures like the ones displayed in the Long Gallery in his mother’s sitting room in Buckingham House (later Buckingham Palace).

Also returned to the Long Gallery is part of a suite of Indian furniture from c1770, which originally belonged to Queen Charlotte. After her death in 1818 the chairs were sold. They were bought by George and displayed in the Long Gallery. The monstrous dragon-like heads with curled trunks, bulging eyes and fanged mouths make the chairs especially appropriate for the Royal Pavilion.

The Banqueting Room Gallery

This room is the site of the original lodging house and originally comprised two rooms, an anteroom and a breakfast room.

When John Nash remodelled the palace, it served as an ‘after dinner’ retiring room. George IV’s guests would retire into its gracious and calm surroundings to play cards, talk and drink.

Photograph of the Banqueting Room Gallery in the Royal Pavilion
Banqueting Room Gallery

Palm tree columns, with cast iron cores, support the upper floor. The Dolphin Furniture that was in this room and is referred to in the guidebook and audio guide has now been returned to the Trustees of Greenwich Hospital after being on loan to the Royal Pavilion since 1960. Although fine examples of Regency furniture, the set was not original to the Royal Pavilion.


A Prince’s Treasure: The Royal Collection Returns to Brighton

The Banqueting Room Gallery is where George’s guests would retreat after dinner. Here they would drink liqueurs and converse. George chose the spectacular vases on display especially for this room. Delicate and intriguing, they enhance the calm, reflective space.

The vases were made in China for export. They are decorated with popular Chinese motifs including snakes, dragonflies and chrysanthemums. Later the vases were combined with European gilt-bronze mounts. Together they create fantastical and imaginative objects.

The Music Room Gallery

Similar to the Banqueting Room Gallery, this room provided an atmosphere of calm for George IV’s guests after the grandeur of the Music Room. It would have been used for small concerts and recitals with the carpet being removed on occasions to allow the floor to be chalked for dancing.

Photograph of the Music Room Gallery in the Royal Pavilion
Music Room Gallery

The grand piano was presented to the Royal Pavilion by Queen Mary. In a rosewood case inlaid with brass, it is similar to the original piano that stood in this room in the Regency period.

A Prince’s Treasure: The Royal Collection Returns to Brighton

Highlights of A Prince’s Treasure in the Music Room Gallery include these exotic-looking tables. Before he created the Royal Pavilion, George’s interest in exotic interiors was evident in the decoration of his other residences.

These beautifully decorated console tables started life in the Chinese Drawing Room at Carlton House, the Prince’s London residence. The Chinese Drawing Room, created in around 1790, was the precursor of the exotic interiors of the Royal Pavilion. It included a pair of console tables in a Chinese style, made by Adam Weisweiler in Paris. In 1819 George had copies of each table made by Bailey and Sanders. All four tables were sent to Brighton for use in this room. Three of the tables are now back in position here in the Music Room Gallery.

Console Table ADAM WEISWEILER (1744-1820)

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