Petit Trianon: billiard and guard's rooms.

In my second in-depth look at the Petit Trianon, we'll continue to explore the ground floor.
The billiard's room is adjacent to the grand stairhall and in the time when the trianon was first built, was intended for the male guests of Madame de Pompadour. King Louis XV himself supplied an ornate billiards table for the use of his guests: You see the room on the floorplan below in blue.

However, when Marie Antoinette was given the PT for her own private use, she had Louis XV's pool table moved up to the main level (1784). She then gave the billiards room over to the officers of the guard (who were stationed across the stairhall) with a more ordinary billiards table, probably similiar to the one found there now. A kind gesture on her part in my opinion, as it gave additional space to her guards that also occupied a prime corner room with views of the garden.
The room has a bust of Marie Antoinette on the mantel, beautiful herringbone floors and 'high' painted paneling. The jib door connects to the warming room, a sort of butler's pantry, where some of Marie Antoinette's personal china is displayed today.
This detail shot of a door shows how beautiful the gilded bronze hardware is. I especially love this shade of green paint.
Across the stairhall from the billiards room is the guards room, seen on the floor plan above in the darker green shade. It was inexpensively finished with plaster walls fauxed to look like stone and wood cabinets with fauxed-marble tops. The window and door in this room look out into the main entry court. The room would have been filled with cots, tables and chairs for the guards as they would spend most of their time here; I can only imagine how boring that would be!
On the opposite side of the guards room from the grand stairhall (seen in the light green on the floorplan) is an unfinished stone passageway. This sits under the main terrace off the dining room on the floor above. It provided passage from the service courtyard, servants lodgings and carriage house with the kitchens behind the grand stair.
Through this roughly finished space, servants could pass un-detected from the kitchens to their own dwellings without disturbing Marie Antoinette and her guests in the gardens. The guards would also use this space and could patrol who was coming in and out of the kitchens.
I love these hewn limestone walls and exposed timber beams. This unfinished roughness was the complete opposite look of the very finished spaces found elsewhere in the Petit Trianon, but one that is very popular and copied today. Join me next week when we explore the main level occupied by Marie Antoinette.

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