Bamboo decor in the West springs from the many East India companies established across Europe from the 16th century onwards. The British East India Company was formed by investors who wanted to carry on trade with the East, Southeast Asia and India. As a result, Chinoiserie goods such as silk, lacquer, bamboo decor and porcelain became wildly popular in Britain and with that came many famous rooms at the courts with bamboo decor motifs.
|The Royal Pavilion at Brighton has several prime examples of rooms with bamboo decor. Brighton Pavilion was built as a seaside residence by George IV (August 12, 1762 – June 26, 1830) who was a huge devotee of Chinoiserie. Although rooted in Chinese design, Chinoiserie is the product of the imagination of the European court. It summed up all that was strange and unusual to Europeans about the East – like bamboo decor. Bamboo decor and other decorative chinoiserie motifs such as dragon decor, serpents, Chinese bells, and water lilies abound at Brighton. |
|The Music Room has a dramatic bamboo decor element. There one finds a canopy of imitation bamboo hanging over the huge organ and the opposite wall, giving the impression of a tent. But the bamboo decor is not all. The domed ceiling is decorated with 26,000 plaster cockleshells covered in 18 carat gold. Nine lotus shaped chandeliers hang from the ceiling and in total there are 180 dragons and serpents decorating the room. |
The bamboo decor in the Music Room was probably much admired when music was played after dinner entertainment.
In 1823, the great composer Rossini visited to play for the king and his guests. King George IV himself often sang for the group. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two from King George IV. We may not be able to afford bamboo decor as elaborate as the bamboo decor at Brighton Pavilion but why not put use some bamboo silverware for your next dinner party?
|In your home...
Bamboo home decor introduces a hint of the East to a room.
Because bamboo has a long life, it's a Chinese symbol of longevity. In India, it's a symbol of friendship.|