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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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Plate depicting a centaur and a centauress
The Lion of Saint Mark
Plate or ewer stand with double portraits
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This artwork is not on display
The distinctive motif of a coiled serpent swallowing a boy derives from the coat of arms of the Visconti family who ruled Milan until 1450, when power shifted to the Sforza family who appropriated this heraldic device when they assumed the Dukedom.
J. Pierpont Morgan ; Mortimer L. Schiff (before 1927–1946; sale, Mortimer L. Schiff Collection, Parke- Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, May 4, 1946, no. 67; through French & Co. to MMA)
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