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The trefoiled and rose-flowered patera, embroidered with Colonel Robert Myddelton Biddulph's 'M' and 'B' initials accompanied by his Biddulph 'wolf' crest, embellished the heraldically-charged and lambrequin-fringed pelmets commissioned in the 1840s for the Red Drawing Room and Saloon. They were designed by A.W.N. Pugin, for curtain pelmets, which corresponded to his pattern for 'Ancient Curtain Hangings ' illustrated in his True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture, 1841 ( p.24 fig 1). The curtains are likely to have been supplied by J. G. Crace of Wigmore Street, whose close collaboration with Pugin began in 1844. The embroidery might have been executed in Birmingham by Mrs Lucy Powell (d.1863), daughter of John Hardman, asssisted by her own daughters. The curtains are illustrated in the 1862 watercolours of the rooms executed by the Hon. Mrs Mary Wombwell, dated February and March, which remain in a family album.
A note from Pugin to the decorator J.G. Crace specifies that each of the doorways in the Cromwell Hall should have '2 curtains overlapping each other. These should be heavy, of red stuff with yellow roses'. Curtains and a pelmet of this scheme were also supplied for the Drawing Room, and are just visible in the 1862 interior watercolour by Mary Myddelton. It is fair to assume, therefore, that the armorial medallions on the present lot and in lot 154, together with the cushions (lot 153) were all supplied by J.G. Crace under Pugin's instructions.