Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Work and writing table (table en chiffonière)

Maker:
Bernard II van Risenburgh (ca. 1696–ca. 1767)
Date:
ca. 1760
Culture:
French
Medium:
Oak and beech veneered with tulipwood and purplewood; gilt bronze, blue moiré silk
Dimensions:
27 x 13-3/4 x 10-5/8 in. (68.6 x 34.9 x 27.0 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork-Furniture
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.471.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 547
The table en chiffonière is a type of furniture that appeared in France around 1750, as patrons sought to combine a sense of elegance and comfort in their daily furnishings. The top is decorated in floral marquetry of veneered tulipwood and end-cut kingwood, and is hinged at the back, opening to three compartments inside. This kind of table typically included drawers that could be used to hold papers, jewelry, and chiffons or cloth, hence the table’s name. Although van Risenburgh produced a quantity of these small yet functional pieces (similar models can be seen in the Wrightsman collection at the museum—see 1984.471.1 and 1977.102.7), the care he took in making each table is visible in the careful coordination of shaped veneer panels with foliate gilt-bronze mounts, which both embellish and protect the veneer at the corners, legs, and feet of the table. The gilt-bronze moulding around the top has been carefully smoothed at the front side of the top to allow the individual user to dash off small notes with comfort and ease.
Signature: [1] Stamped twice on carcass beneath side at back: B.V.R.B. Jme; [2] Stamped once on carcass beneath left side, partially effaced: B.V.R.B.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman , New York (until 1984; to MMA)
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