THE FIRST FLOOR
The Music Room
The Smoking Room
Next is the smoking room, a darker and more mysterious place with a masculine atmosphere. It has a stylish and luxurious 19th-century fabric covering the walls, in perfect condition, in the tones of prune with a floral and blazon (crest) device on it.
The room is garnished with intricate oak panelling and has a fabulous oak mantelpiece. The furniture is also rather masculine with its different chairs and sofas and displays some interesting pieces, such as a classic gothic-style chair,a beautiful oak piedestal with a fake marble top, a side table also with a fake marble top on which is placed a lovely young girl’s bust in bisque with porcelain base, most probably French, which is now in the Red Salon below. She has been replaced by the statuette of Saint George which is next to the bust of King George V. On the floor is a nice Renaissance Revival needlepoint carpet.
On the other side of the window, near a red-lacquered secretary, is a tin bank safe. I always say that I have to think about placing my will inside it (which will have to be either very brief or reduced into microfilm format!). Other pieces of furniture include a Biedermeier-style table with precious hard wood top on which are displayed some photo albums including one of Paris dated 1900, a card game and an ashtray. A miniature cigar box (with real cigars!) is waiting for amateurs on a velvet-covered stool, and a precious blown-glass liquor set, well-know to collectors, perfect for a doll-size sip of brandy is place on a mahogany-style table, with a white marble top. Gosh! What a doll has to do to get a proper drink in this home? Above the red canapé is a very minute and delicate miniature oil painting of the Swiss city Lucern that we found a few years ago in an antique shop in the Swiss countryside, quite appropriate for this room.
Above the mantelpiece we can see two bisque heads and a photographed double portrait of Tsar Nicholas II and his spouse Tsarine Alexandra Fedeorovna, and two small figurines of grenadiers soldiers from the Napoleon army. The irony of it all! - never mind chronology- peace in the doll's house, please! To be noticed too, the nice beaded and gilt chandelier, by Marklin or Bing. This is the only room which had no curtains for decades (along with the pantry), though for a reason: to admire the beautiful wood paneling. Recently though, a pair of nice antique velvet ribbon curtains were placed, a final touch to enhance the comfortable feeling of this lovely room.