Italian Silk Velvet Damask Depicting a Fantastical Chinoserie Deity
Italian Silk Velvet Damask Depicting a Fantastical Chinoserie Deity Identical to those in the ‘Velvet Room’ at Ditchley Park
An Interesting Textile Panel of Italian Silk Velvet Damask Depicting a Fantastical Chinoserie Deity Identical to those in the ‘Velvet Room’ at Ditchley Park Oxfordshire
Early 18th Century
Size: 61cm high, 61cm wide – 24 ins high, 24 ins wide
Ditchley Park was begun in 1720 by George Lee the second Earl of Lichfield to a design by James Gibbs with the help of Henry Flitcroft and William Kent, and was completed in 1726. Ditchley is exceptional among early Georgian houses in its lack of Victorian alteration. The ‘velvet room’ once the state bedroom, a luxurious cabinet, is famously entirely upholstered in a striking rose red coloured Italian silk velvet woven with a repeated design of a chinoserie Buddhist deity.
Years later in 1933 Nancy Lancaster, the celebrated Anglo-American interior decorator and her husband Ronald Tree bought Ditchley Park, the decoration of which earned her the reputation of having ‘the finest taste of almost anyone in the world’. It was the velvet room that inspired her with the design and colour scheme for the furniture she had made for the house. They entertained on a lavish scale and during the Second World War offered the house to Churchill for occasional weekends when Chequers was considered unsafe.