A room with a view

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

IT was in­ter­est­ing to see the bas­re­lief plas­ter pan­els at Ditch­ley Park (Septem­ber 21 and 28), based on tondi from the Arch of Con­stan­tine, de­pict­ing sac­ri­fices to the gods. Th­ese were en­graved by Pi­etro Bar­toli in 1645 and Fran­cois Per­rier in 1653, the lat­ter in re­verse. It may as­sist in the debate about the in­volve­ment of James Gibbs in the de­sign of the hall at Ditch­ley to know that the en­grav­ings were used in a painted in­te­rior in Mo­ray house, Ed­in­burgh, be­fore 1710; a scheme prob­a­bly de­signed by Sir Wil­liam Bruce and which Gibbs may have known.

The dec­o­ra­tion there was car­ried out by Rod­er­ick Chalmers and James Norie for Charles, 6th Earl of Mo­ray and his wife, Anne Camp­bell, Count­ess of Laud­erdale. The large over­door pan­els are the only known ex­am­ple of ‘im­i­ta­tion tapestry’, ad­ver­tised by Chalmers and Norie in the Scots Courant in 1711.

In this pho­to­graph of the room at Mo­ray house (above), the walls are painted in dark brown to con­ceal an ear­lier scheme of oak grain­ing, but there is ev­i­dence that the wain­scott was orig­i­nally pearl blue or grey. Joe Rock, East Loth­ian

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