Every Christmas, the house is extravagantly dressed for the season.
in the Bachelors’ Wing—the latter only opens once a week for the rest of the year. So a new route through the house is created, beautifully decorated with sparkling decorations based on the theme for that year.
Enter the house and you begin in the East Gallery, which this year will have decorations related to Venice and the traditions of Carnevale, including glorious paintings of the city by Guardi.
The East Gallery is best known for its clockwork elephant, a French musical automaton dating to 1774, which can play four tunes while the elephant flaps its ears, wags its tail and moves its trunk. Figures around it move too. On either side of the elephant stand two large Christmas trees, each beautifully dressed for the season. This year they’ll be hung with Harlequin styled baubles.
Continue into the Red Ante Room, which for Christmas 2018, will feature characters from late 18th-century theatre, with a theatrical-styled tree and fancy dress.
Ascend the spiral staircase to the White Drawing Room, which was used as a sitting room during World War II. Today it’s dressed as a dining room. The neoclassical paneling dates to the 1770s and came from a house in Lyon, France.
For Christmas, the White Drawing Room will be decorated to reflect the tradition of masquerade balls and festivities at the French Royal Court. There will be cut-outs, silhouettes and paper folded table decorations, as well as a silver dinner service made for King George III.
Nearby, the Blue Dining Room Frosted is best decorations known and for muted its color glassware and table linen were used to remarkable chandelier, made of broken crockery, and mirror the pale striped wallpaper. commissioned for the room in 2003. The chandelier was
designed by Ingo Maurer and it’s called ‘Porca Miseria,’ the polite translation of which is ‘Oh My Goodness’ in Italian.
The paneling in the Blue Dining Room was created for a Paris town house in the 1750s; the panels have been painted to match the original blue color scheme in that house. Every year for Christmas, there’s a garland over the fireplace, a mix of different baubles on the tree, and the table is laid for a Christmas meal.
Ascend the spiral staircase again, to the Armory Corridor where armor hanging on the walls includes 16th-century weapons made for Charles I of Spain. For Christmas 2018, the Armory Corridor will be dressed in a fireworks theme. The decorations on the tree will be inspired by colorful fireworks, explosions and gunpowder.
The chest of drawers in the Armory Corridor was made by the Italian craftsman Pietro
The East Gallery boasts Christmas decorations in a theme of Lights and Legends. Decorative representations of the sun, the moon and the stars adorn the Christmas trees.
In 2017, the East Gallery dressed for Christmas with a theme of Enchanted Menagerie. The trees were decorated with red baubles and twinkling lights, accompanied by gold and silver elephants.
The Smoking Room stands dressed for Christmas in 2016 when the theme was Magical Materials. There was a Silver and Gold theme in this room, which held Baron Ferdinand’s most prized items. Over 350 gold and silver decorations adorned this tree. The gold half is almost obscured from view.