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The Old Drawing Room

The Old Drawing Room was designed by Charles Cameron. It is now difficult to ascertain the general appearance of the interior from the surviving sheet of Cameron's original project. An inventory of 1801 informs that "there is silken wallpaper with a colored silk border on the walls". The fireplace in the pier between the walls was transferred to the opposite wall after the fire of 1803, at the express wish of Maria Feodorovna. For this purpose, "the chimney was broken off and the wall cut open through all four floors". The walls were reupholstered with taffeta, only this time "in green, with a colored border" (circa 1811). In 1824 the Drawing Room was united with the Dining Room (see the Ball Room), seemingly after a project by Carlo Rossi. The walls were lined with artificial marble. The room was converted into a Reception Room in 1858. In 1908 wooden partitions were erected, later removed in 1918 when the palace was being turned into a museum. During the post-war restoration of the palace, the Old Drawing Room was recreated as it was in the late eighteenth century.

The furniture of the Drawing Room is mentioned in an inventory of 1783, which lists "furniture from Pans - one sofa, six armchairs and twelve white chairs". Their place is now taken by a suite of carved gilt furniture from the A. Jacob workshop, upholstered with silk and hand-embroidered tambour stitching. The embroideries were manufactured in Lyons after drawings by Pierre Ranson. The suite was commissioned by Pavel and Maria during their visit to Paris in 1782. It was originally intended for the Greek Room, but was transferred to the Large Throne Room after 1803. It found its way into the Old Drawing Room after restoration as an analogy.

The fireplace is graced by the Night clock of gilt and patina bronze (France, early 19th century). Gilt and bronze candelabra (France, 1770s) stand along the sides on marble pedestals. There are mother-of-pearl counters (Austria, late 18th century) on the card table (St Petersburg, 1790). The chandelier is made of gilt bronze and crystal (St Petersburg, late 18th century). The Diana at Rest clock on the console (Paris, 1775-85) originally stood in the Throne Room of Paul I in St Michael's Castle. The two gilt and patina bronze candelabra on marble pedestals along the sides were manufactured after a model by Claudion (France, late 18th century). The floor is covered with an early nineteenth century French carpet.