There was clearly a market, back in 1960, for rooms designed especially for small dictatorial men. Just in case they wanted to decorate their dens. In case they wanted to? Oh, but of course they wanted to! They demanded it. Actually, some flunky (retro Josephine, perhaps) did all the work. He just stood around with his hand in his jacket, wearing a funny tricorn hat.
The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement says we can learn a lot from this room:
Yes, we do “know at a glance” that this person is obsessed with the “Little Corsican.” But the lessons we are going to learn are not about grouping objects effectively or using a solid color to offset all those gilded tschotchkes. No, no, no. This room shouts not: I know how to decorate but rather: I only answer to Your Highness! Now go invade Russia, and don’t come back unless you’re packing some premium caviar for my afternoon snack!
The velvet armchair is perfect for lounging and for ordering people around. And all the little medals and helmets and doodads are the ideal visual cues for friends – they’ll know better than to ask difficult questions like: Got any good snacks? Can I play with the fringe on those epaulets on the wall? or, Hey, how ’bout that Battle of Waterloo?