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Exotic domes and minarets only hint at the splendours inside

James Roberts (c. 1800-67)

Buckingham Palace: the Pavilion Breakfast Room dated May 1850

Watercolour and bodycolour with gum arabic | 25.6 x 38.0 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 919918

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The Pavilion Breakfast Room (now known as the Chinese Dining Room) is at one end of the East wing added to Buckingham Palace by Edward Blore (1787–1879) to provide much needed accommodation for Queen Victoria’s growing family. Like the other principal rooms of the new wing, the Breakfast Room was furnished with materials salvaged from the Royal Pavilion, which Queen Victoria had sold to the town corporation two years earlier. The fantastical chimneypiece with its protruding dragon as well as the frosted and painted glass water lily chandelier were made for the Music Room at Brighton. The wall paintings of Chinese scenes painted by Robert Jones (active 1810–26) to the designs of Frederick Crace (1779–1859) once hung in the Banqueting Room. The Breakfast Room was carefully designed to accommodate these imported fittings, and, as Queen Victoria noted in her Journal (10 June, 1849), a dragon was painted on the ceiling ‘to harmonise with the rest’.