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Lady's Bedroom
Objects In The Room
The Lady’s Bedroom

A lady’s bedchamber was her inner sanctum. She slept here, and with the help of her maid, she undertook her toilette, an elaborate ritual involving dressing, styling hair and applying make-up.

A very fashionable lady would even receive visitors who came to keep her company and gossip while she was dressing. This was how new fashions and hairstyles would often be spread throughout society.

Close up of the larger bureau
Make-Up and Hair

There was an unpleasant reality behind the glamour of Georgian England. White paint and powder make-up used to imitate a pale complexion were lead-based and highly dangerous. Increasingly elaborate hairstyles required the use of scented wax or fat applied to the hair. It created a ‘moveable feast’ for nits, from which wig scratchers, like the one on the chest of drawers, provided relief.

Close up of the smaller dressing table
The Lady's Maid

This was a responsible role and any lady’s maid would know all her Mistress’ business and was expected to be very discreet. A Lady’s maid had many aspects to her job, including washing lace and ribbons, preparing creams and cosmetics, cleaning and storing jewellery, as well as dressing and undressing the Mistress.

The Jib Door
Decoration and Design

The wallpaper design for the Lady’s Bedroom may possibly depict a coffee plant. The design was taken from a sample of original wallpaper from c.1760 which was found in a house in Bath.

Close up of the wallpaper
Objects In The Room
Rare Musical Birdcage

Known as an automata, this music box is a gilded metal cage containing a singing bird on a branch. It would have been operated by placing a coin in the slot.

On Loan from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Rare musical birdcage
Collection of 16 Silhouettes

These depict members of the Foxcroft, Slade and Doran families, and were mainly made by John Miers, c.1758-1821

Silhouettes were very popular in the Georgian period. Miers was the leading profilist (silhouette artist) of the late 18th century. Having gained recognition in his home town of Leeds he toured around the country before opening a studio in 1788 in London.

Collection of 16 Silhouettes
Barbara Countess of Coventry, by Francis Cotes (1726-1770), 1767

Barbara, Countess of Coventry lived at Croome Court, near Worcester, and her husband was 6th Earl of Coventry. She was his second wife. His first wife was a famous society beauty who died young, possibly of lead poisoning from wearing a lot of make-up.

Francis Cotes was the most important portait artist in the 1760s apart from Gainsborough and Reynolds.

Barbara Countess of Coventry, by Francis Cotes (1726-1770), 1767
Satinwood Screen Sewing Table

This lady’s 18th-century satinwood screen table has a silk screen panel designed to protect a lady’s face from the heat of a fireplace. It has a retractable shelf for a candlestick or other items to be placed upon. On loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

On loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Satinwood Screen Sewing Table
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