The works uncovered some unsuspected decorative elements.

In the Admirals’ Hall and Hall of Honour :

. Around the edge of the ceilings, a Louis-Philippe era red frieze with gilt fillet strips: echoing the colours of the French flag, it is highly symbolic of the July Monarchy.


. Giltwork of different colours on the ornamentation, especially green and yellow hues, makes the motifs stand out more clearly.


. Four medallions above the portraits of admirals, with the names of naval battles won by the illustrious mariners shown.


. The monogram of Napoleon III – the letter N – above the door frames was very faint. A search in the archives came up with its exact shape so it could be reproduced.


. In the Hall of Honour, restoration of the marble fire surround and the recess that once held the bust of the Empress highlights the bee patterns which are visible proof of the imperial symbolism that permeates the premises.





In the Golden Gallery

. Stratigraphic analysis of the colour of the decorated ceiling coffers revealed a subtle alternation of pastel tones: light blue around the marine motifs in front of the windows, pale green between the mirrors offsetting rural scenes.

. When the wood panelling in the Golden Gallery was taken down, it was found that the walls had been marked by the shelves on which the Crown bronzes of Louis XV and Louis XVI had been displayed. These markings were retained behind the restored woodwork.

In the Naval Ports Gallery

Behind the tapestries and their supports the restorers found painted panels imitating the exotic timbers of the French West Indies (rosewood, ebony, burrs, etc.), an exceptional Napoleon III décor.

. The most spectacular discovery was the five large panels representing five French naval ports – Toulon, Brest, Cherbourg, Lorient, and Rochefort – on painted false panelling.

(Updated: January 2016)