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Oval Chinese Cabinet

Grand & Imperial Tour

The Oval Chinese Cabinet forms the counterpart to the Round Cabinet lying on the opposite side of the Small Gallery. Both rooms have similar décor but differ in the shape of their ground plan.

Delight in exotic objects made of precious materials was fashionable during the age of the Rococo, and Maria Theresa had a particular passion for these products of Far Eastern craftsmanship.

Oval Chinese Cabinet

The magnificent décor attests to the admiration for lacquerware, silks and porcelain from China and Japan which increasingly left their mark on the interiors of princely European palaces in the eighteenth century.

The two cabinets are among the most private and yet also most magnificent rooms at Schönbrunn. They were used by Maria Theresa and her circle of intimates for social gatherings at which cards were played.

Maria Theresa’s love of exotic objects was not confined to the Far East. During her reign relations with the Ottoman Empire underwent a change. Once familiar as a dangerous adversary, now Turkey was the focus of strengthening economic and cultural contacts. This was the era of ‘Turkish’ operas such as Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio. In keeping with the fashion of the times, masked balls in Turkish costume were held at the Viennese court. There are several extant depictions of Maria Theresa in Ottoman costume, one of which is displayed in this room.

Round Chinese Cabinet
Carousel Room
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