Based on the grand Japanese Drawing Room in the Royal Bath Hotel, The Mikado’s Room was originally the Blue Bedroom but was converted to a room devoted to displaying the Russell-Cotes’ Japanese collection. The room was probably chosen by Merton because it overlooked the couple’s Japanese garden.
“Mr Russell-Cotes has travelled a great deal in the East, and the result of his explorations is manifested in what he calls the ‘Mikado Room’. Here are miniature temples, gold lacquered vases with dainty flowers inlaid with mother-of-pearl of the loveliest tints, delicious cabinets of rarest finish, images of Buddha … lanterns of brilliant hues… I know of no such private collection of Japanese curios…”
– Westminster Gazette (c1915)
The objects originate from Annie and Merton’s six week trip to Japan in 1885 trip. They collected over one hundred packing cases of objects which included lacquer, metalwork, ceramics, as well as arms and armour.