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Fonthill Abbey: the Grand Drawing Room
Stedman Whitwell Architect del.; engraved by John Cleghorn.
magnificent in dimensions and decorations ... The ceiling beams are carried at their ends by carved and gilt corbels, and the hangings are of garter-blue silk damask, embellished with gold mouldings. The burnished gilt chairs are covered with the same. In the centre of the room, upon a carpet of extraordinary costliness, stands a table of Egyptian marble, the largest slab of the kind in Europe. (pp. 30-31).
Interior of King Edward's Gallery
Looking across the Octagon into St. Michael's Gallery
Drawn by C. F. Porden; etched by John Cleghorn
engraved by Robt. Havell & Son, Chapel Str. Fitzroy Squ.
a magnificent apartment, embellished with a masterly and unsparing hand, superbly furnished, the ceiling covered with carving, and the walls nearly concealed by the ample and duplicated curtains of deep blue and scarlet.
This gallery has been designed for the purpose of commemorating the names of those individuals of Mr. Beckford's ancestry, who have been honoured with the illustrious knighthood of the garter. The number and rank of these persons, their historical and chivalrous fame, would add lustre to any genealogy.
Edward the Third, the founder of the order, and after whom this Gallery is named, occupies the place of honour, over the alabaster chimney piece, in the centre of the apartment: the portraits of six royal and most distinguished knights are placed three on each side; their arms and badges being emblazoned in stained glass on the opposite windows. In the frieze of the cornice, which surrounds the room, seventy-two gartered shields contribute to give this part of the decoration an appropriate and unusual richness.
The lofty windows to the west admit a strong influx of light, which, when the scarlet curtains are drawn, sheds a general and magical tint over every part ... (pp. 33-34).
Fonthill Abbey: Specimens of the Ceilings:
1. St Michael's Gallery
2. Yellow Withdrawing Room
3. Grand Saloon
4. The Sanctuary
5. The Gothic Cabinet
6. King Edward's Gallery
Drawn by J. Rutter; engraved by J. Cleghorn.
John Rutter: Delineations of Fonthill and its Abbey
Published June 2nd 1823, London
Now playing: Yo-Yo Ma - Elgar Cello Concerto, 1st mvmt