Queen Vic­to­ria vis­ited on May 14, 1890 to find out where her son was dis­ap­pear­ing to on week­ends!

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Pif­fetti in the 1730s. He com­bined mar­quetry and in­lay tech­niques, us­ing beau­ti­ful ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing tur­tle shell, ivory and mother of pearl. The curved style shows the best of 18th-cen­tury Ital­ian fur­ni­ture. The ivory is en­graved with im­ages of play­ing chil­dren. Pietro Pif­fetti made fur­ni­ture for the res­i­dences of the Royal House of Savoy.

Off the Ar­mory Cor­ri­dor are the Smok­ing Room and Bil­liard Room, which were used by the men of the house and their guests, to re­lax af­ter meals. Baron Fer­di­nand be­queathed the con­tents of the Smok­ing Room and his ar­mory to the Bri­tish Mu­seum. How­ever, this room and the Ar­mory were later recre­ated, bring­ing to­gether ob­jects be­long­ing to dif­fer­ent fam­ily mem­bers.

The fo­cus for the Bil­liard Room this Christ­mas is party games, so the room will be dec­o­rated with Vic­to­rian games. Board games will be laid out on the bil­liard ta­ble, and vis­i­tors might see cards on the tree, or items re­lat­ing to Blind­man’s Buff or Cha­rades.

Smok­ing rooms were pop­u­lar in Vic­to­rian Eng­land. They were dec­o­rated in a Turk­ish style, cel­e­brat­ing the ori­gin of to­bacco. Ar­chi­tec­turally, the Smok­ing Room and Bil­liard Room are both very dif­fer­ent to other rooms in the house, but they do com­ple­ment one an­other. The ceil­ings have beams and pan­els de­signed to give the rooms a ma­jes­tic or re­gal feel. Pre­cious porce­lain vases, 16th-cen­tury enam­els, and other dec­o­ra­tive items add in­ter­est to the Smok­ing Room.

There’s 16th-cen­tury earth­en­ware called Ma­jolica on dis­play. It was made in Spain and trans­ported to Italy. A rare basil pot is on dis­play too—it was used to hold basil, an herb grown to give the room a pleas­ant fra­grance. For Christ­mas this year, the tree in the Smok­ing Room will be dec­o­rated with items de­pict­ing pre­cious jew­els, velvets, gold and sil­ver, as well as fine lace. Pho­to­graphs of Baron Fer­di­nand at House Balls will be on dis­play.

Wad­des­don Manor is al­ways breath­tak­ing at Christ­mas; it’s an amaz­ing place to visit.

This year, the manor will be bathed in col­ored lights, which high­light its dis­tinc­tive fea­tures, ac­com­pa­nied by fes­tive mu­sic. Other light­ing ef­fects in the grounds will con­tinue the car­ni­val theme.

In 2011, the White Draw­ing Room boasted a theme called An Ital­ian Christ­mas. It was in­spired by a tour of the five Euro­pean coun­tries where the found­ing sons of the Roth­schild dy­nasty made their for­tunes. The dec­o­ra­tions re­flected Ital­ian cul­ture, art, fash­ion and food.

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