CHARLES II. Windsor Castle Furnishings, 1677. 15242



Original Manuscript Warrant Signed ‘Arlington’, addressed to Ralph Montagu, Master of the Great Wardrobe, or his deputy, signifying, in great detail, His Majesty’s pleasure that Montagu supplies to James Davids, Keeper of His Majesty’s Standing Wardrobe at Windsor Castle, the chairs, hangings, looking glasses, footstools, damasks, bed linen, etc., all described in this Warrant, for the furnishing of His Majesty’s Little Bedchamber, His Majesty’s Personal Chamber, His Majesty’s Privy Chamber, Drawing Room, and other necessities for Windsor Castle, together with “One hundred & eighty yards of Greene Damaske to Hang his Majesty’s Bed Chamber” at Hampton Court. About 600 words on 2 pp. 12 x 7½ inches, with the integral blank leaf docketed on verso, minor repairs. 20 June 1677. An original document, signed by Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington (1618-1685), at this time Lord Chamberlain, authorising and describing the furnishing of the new State Apartments. ‘In 1674 more old buildings and towers were destroyed during preparations for rebuilding the range of chambers forming the north-west section of the royal lodging. This was now replaced by a four-storied block of the plainest possible character externally, but containing within on the main floor a fine set of rooms begun to be decorated in 1676–7 with carvings by Grinling Gibbons and Henry Phillipps, and in 1678 with painted ceilings and gilded work by Verrio and Coussin. The other rooms forming the royal lodging, including the king’s chapel and St. George’s hall, were likewise refitted and decorated to correspond, and the whole formed into one splendid series henceforth called the State apartments.’ [A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3 (1923)] The Warrant begins with an order for “A purple & White Morella furniture for a Bed, & hangings, the Bed to be lyned with Satten, with two Chaires, and Six Stooles, suiteable, all trymed with twisted silke fringe, with knotts, & Buttons, as hath beene chosen by patternes.” The entire Warrant is devoted to descriptions of furnishings in similar detail: “… also a Cloth of State of Playne Welvett of an Azure colour Embroydred with his Majesty’s Armes with God & Silver as usuall, trymed with Gold & Silver fringes, A Greate Chaire, two stooles, & footstoole & Cushions, suiteable, Window Curtains of Blew Damaske…”