In the 1820s, George IV set about the enormous task of recontructing and refurbishing Windsor Castle. A consummate builder, the king engaged architect Jeffrey Wyatville and cabinet-makers Morel and Seddon for the task. Only the Private Apartments on the east and south sides of the Castle Quadrangle were completed at the time of the King's death in 1830.
Working as decorators, much as Guillaume Gaubert and later Dominique Daguerre had at Carlton House, Nicholas Morel and George Seddon were directly responsible to the King who took an active interest in the project. A series of seventy drawings showing the proposed schemes of decoration in many cases bear the King's annotations and approval (appvd). The drawings were sold Sotheby's London, 9 April 1970.
Nicholas Morel won the commission to furnish the Royal apartments at Windsor Castle in 1826, chosen personally by the King. He had worked for George IV as Prince of Wales at both Brighton Pavilion and Carlton House as early as 1795 and earned the title 'Upholder Extraordinary' to the Prince of Wales by 1807. Morel worked in partnership with Hughes from 1810-1812 at Carlton House. It has been put forth that he joined into partnership with George Seddon as he needed the services of a large firm with the capacity to complete the Windsor Castle commission, and the Seddon workshops in Aldergate Street were used to manufacture the furniture for Windsor. Ever the Francophile, George IV directed Morel to travel to France to execute patterns and drawings of furniture. Seddon performed the business functions for the firm. (G. de Bellaigue and P. Kirkham, 'George IV and the Furnishing of Windsor Castle', Furniture History, 1972, pp.1-9).
These bedside cupboards, executed in a rather severe French Empire manner, were supplied for a bedroom suite that was situated within and adjacent to York Tower on the south side of Jeffrey Wyatville's 1824 ground-plan for Windsor Castle. The new furniture supplied by Morel and Seddon was all similarly finished in rosewood with gilt enrichments and included a wardrobe, secretaire, writing-table, pedestal dressing-table, and bidet. The impressive giltwood bed together with its crimson bed hangings was originally delivered to Carlton House and later reused and adapted. According to the Windsor Estimates, the bedside cupboards were delivered to Windsor on 2 July 1828 and appear in Morel and Seddon's account book as follows:
'To 2 handsome pedestals of fine rosewood each with a frieze and cornice surmounted by a slab of fine Brocatelli marble, supported by pilasters, terminating on a plinths with improved castors, the upper part enclosed as a cupboard with a Venetian sliding panel and containing a chamber vase of white and gold Davenport china, the lower part containing 2 draw out bedsteps with panelled fronts, and lined at top with crimson velvet, the whole highly polished & enriched with ornamental mouldings gilt in mat & burnished gold.
The cupboards were invoiced under the entry for a sofa table in room 223 (account #803) and also includes the occasional table and secretaire from room 235 for a sum of £679. Other bedside cupboards of the same design but executed in elm or maple were supplied for other bedrooms at Windsor, specifically rooms 227 and 254.
By the time of Victoria's reign and the 1866 inventory taken at Windsor, the cupboards had been moved to various locations including the Long Gallery [The Grand Corridor], and two other rooms on the south wing. It is not known when the cupboards left the Royal collection.
A fully detailed account of the furniture supplied for George IV, including the specific information above, is set forth by Sir Hugh Roberts in his For the King's Pleasure: The Furnishing and Decoration of George IV's Apartments at Windsor Castle published in 2001.