The Breakfast Room at Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood estate, Washington. The emerald, green glass chandelier is from Catherine the Great’s bedroom in the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo. It alludes to the wider collection at Hillwood, as Marjorie Merriweather Post was an early and avid collection of Imperial Era Russian works of art. Marjorie Merriweather (1887 –1973) was born in Springfield, Illinois, the daughter and only child of C. W. Post and Ella Letitia Merriweather. At age 27, following her father’s death in 1914, she became the owner of the rapidly growing Postum Cereal Company, inheriting what was at the time an unfathomable fortune of US$20 million and becoming the wealthiest woman in the United States.
The salle à manger of Princesse Mathilde at 24 rue de Courcelles painted by Giraud Sébastien Charles in 1854 (©RMN).
The Chinese Dining Room in Buckingham Palace is furnished with artworks originally made for the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, which was George IV’s pleasure palace decorated in the extravagant chinoiserie style.
The dining room of the Hôtel de la Marine Paris, so called because for more than two hundred years it was home to the Ministry of the French Navy. Built by Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the principal architect of King Louis XV of France, the Hôtel de la Marine was originally the home of the royal Garde-Meuble, the office managing the furnishing of all royal properties.
Elegant rather than truly palatial, it is considered the quintessential example of a French dining-room with tall, panelled doors, silk wall-hangings embroidered with flowers and pittoresque medallions and white painted chairs. The two buffet cabinets are exceptional examples by the royal cabinetmaker Jean-Henri Riesener (1734 – 1806), a pupil of Oeben, the greatest cabinetmaker of his time. The table is set with Sèvres porcelain and has been recreated in the spirit of Le Déjeuner d’huîtres a painting by Jean-François de Troy (1735).
Le Déjeuner d’huîtres painted in 1735 together with Nicolas Lancret’s Le Déjeuner de jambon were commissioned by Louis XV to decorate the dining room in the lesser apartments at the Palace of Versailles. It includes the first appearance of a champagne bottle in painting. Both paintings are now in the Musée Condé (photo credit: Musée Condé Château de Chantilly ©RMN).