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See how this desk converts into a dressing table.
When closed, this table may not seem like one of the most complex pieces of European furniture ever made. However, once opened, its concealed drawers and hidden features are exposed, and the entire piece transforms into a dressing table, orpoudreuse. Scholars believe it was commissioned as a wedding gift from Abraham (1711–1793) and David Roentgen (1743–1807) by Friedrich August III, Elector of Saxony, to his bride in 1769.
This table, from Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).
Images courtesy of Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt.
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 201
The imitation of Japanese porcelain was a priority at Chantilly, where the prince de Condé established a porcelain factory in 1730. His collection of Asian ceramics may have served as direct models for pieces made at Chantilly. This jar copies a Japanese form. The painted scenes are derived from print by Jean-Antoine Fraisse (ca. 1680–1739), whose Book of Chinese Designs (1735) was a source of motifs for the factory’s painters.
Marking: Hunting horn (in red on base)
Mme. Helen Dupuy (until 1948; sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, April 2–3, 1948, no. 131; sold to Wilson)
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