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The Billiards Room

The Billiards Room was designed by Charles Cameron (1784-86). Several of Cameron's original blueprints for the room have survived. The Billiards Room was restored by Andrei Voronikhin after the fire of 1803 without any changes. The vault covering the room is extremely typical of Cameron. Circular bas-reliefs on ancient subjects by the sculptor M. Alexandrov (Uvazhny) are placed about the four corners of the plafond. After 1858, the Billiards Room was used as a study.

The Billiards RoomThe main item of furniture in the Billiards Room, the billiards table, has not survived. Views of Venice by eighteenth century Italian artists decorate the walls. The suite of mahogany furniture was made by Russian masters in the eighteenth century. The other furnishings are the card tables and the console with a Wedgwood ceramic inset on the subject of Diana and Endymion (early 19th century). In the center of the fireplace is a porcelain incense vase (Berlin, late 18th century). Porcelain jugs (Ludwigsburg, late 18th century) stand along the sides.

To the left of the door is a clavichord (Gabran workshop, St Petersburg, 1783) commissioned by Catherine the Great for Prince Grigory Potemkin. It is an extremely rare example of a late eighteenth century musical instrument in a case of patterned wood. The keys are decorated with mother of pearl and tortoise-shell.

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