Osterley Park, in Middlesex, was the country house of the Child banking family. The ninth Earl of Jersey gave the house to the National Trust in 1949. The contents were purchased by the Government and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which administered Osterley until 1991 when the National Trust took full control of it.
The Childs had connections with the East India Company, and there are collections of East Asian porcelain and lacquer in the house.
In the eighteenth century it was fashionable to use ‘Decca work’, embroidered silk made in the Deccan in Southern India, as furnishing material. By the early 1780s the mahogany four-poster bed in Mr Child’s Bedroom at Osterley was entirely made up with Decca work, and some of it still remains, albeit now slightly darkened by age.
In the same period the bed in the Yellow Taffeta Bedchamber had Chinese taffeta hangings painted with a floral design.
The current hangings were remade in the 1920s from the original design.
In the late eighteenth century these bedrooms would also have been furnished with Chinese wallpaper, lacquer furniture and Chinese paintings on silvered glass, so the exotic atmosphere would have been quite strong. Chinese wallpaper was generally used in bedrooms as it was felt to create a more informal effect.