Monday, February 21, 2011

The Indian Room Wembley Exhibition 1924

The Indian Room Ceiling -Wembley Exhibition 1924

Today I had another surprise from the past. My early childhood turned up in a Danish Auction House after 64 years.

First, the first AR UK  TV 1959 production of Britten's 'Turn of the Screw' directed by Peter Morley, long hailed as the definitive version and destroyed in what was said to be the greatest act of artistic vandalism turns up after forty years  and now the Indian Room ceiling from the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley that I thought had been destroyed in 1954 is restored to me.

Here is the web page where I wrote about my 'strange life' with an Indian Room  and where I describe the Indian Room in detail and what it was like to live with it. Wonderful. I was so lucky. Not for me tortured men on crucifixes but colorful unknown Gods enjoying life. 

Here too is the page in the Danish Auction House offering it for sale on 1 March 2011. Price round £80,00 to £100,000. My aunts could not give it away. It was left  for destruction.   Like the 'Turn of the Screw' somebody unknown saved it. It was worth saving.

I never thought I should see it again in color and I am so delighted that it has survived. If I were young I should try to buy it back and build my house around it as my grandfather did. It was huge 18ft x 18ft so it needs  a special building. The pictures are in reality quite light and the black around gives quite the wrong impression. Too late!

Nevertheless seeing it again out of the blue was a shock. My web description was absolutely accurate even down to the little deer.  I certainly didn't have the conventional middle class childhood. I was in a class of my own.  I loved my unknown Hindu Gods especially the colored horses.

Life is full of surprises.

When looked at from below this God is always facing you. I used to walk around for hours trying to work out why this was. Maybe someone can explain.


  1. Lovely story Janette. I am the Great Grandson of Edward Palmer who did the catering in the Indian section and went on to found Veeraswamy restaurant in Regent Street. My grandmother rode an Indian Elephant at the festival and it is where she met my grandad...