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Discover the secret compartments of this writing table and see how it can be transformed into a private altar.
Perhaps the most exquisite and technically refined piece from German cabinetmaker Abraham Roentgen (1711–1793), this desk was made for his premier patron, the Catholic official Johann Philipp von Walderdorff. Its interior holds a multitude of drawers, panels, and compartments, in addition to sophisticated mechanical fittings that safeguard the elector’s privacy.
This writing table from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013). Learn more about the table: http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/collectie/BK-16676/bureau-op-s-vormige-poten-versierd-met-marqueterie.
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 500
Inscription: (1) below bust of man with book in main scene: originally VEBILIO in black; apparently amended during course of enameling to VERBLIO by addition of red enamel strokes to the B and I of VEBILIO
(2) VENITE (plural command, Latin, Come! or Come here! addressed to the lines of maidens.
Alessandro Castellani (until 1884; sale, at Palais Castellani, Rome, March 17–April 10 , 1884, Deuxième partie, no. 405); E. Joseph (until 1890; sale, Christie, Manson and Wood, London, May 6, 1890, no. 96); J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1917; to MMA)
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