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