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First Look: Budapest's New Furniture Museum

Looking for a 28-room palace furnished with antiques from five centuries, Gothic to Victorian?A Baroque castle on the Danube, a division of the Budapest Applied Arts Museum, houses a stunning collection of furniture. Around the corner from a 1480's Italian dowry trunk painted with images of faithful brides are some macho 1690's armchairs plated in silver from foot to headrest. Down the hall stands a streamlined Biedermeier desk that once belonged to the mother of Emperor Franz Josef. Many of the items have regal pedigrees, such as Louis Bonaparte's white painted beechwood chairs upholstered in gold-threaded red satin, commissioned during his brief reign in Holland. Restored 18th-century murals of nymphs and satyrs provide a racy setting. The hedonistic scenery suits much of the opulent furniture — especially since a few of the nymphs appear to be lounging on their own royal chaises.
Nagytétény Castle Museum, 9—11 Kastélypark Utca; 36-1/218-5821; 36-1/226-8547 for guided tour information; opens for season March 1.

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