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The inventive talents of David Roentgen are evident in this exceptionally refined desk. The monogram "DR" inlaid beneath the keyhole on the lower drawer indicates the cabinetmaker's satisfaction with one of his most mechanically ingenuous creations: a single key inserted at different depths unlocks the center drawer, releases the rolltop, or releases the hidden side drawers; if a button is pressed on the underside of these drawers, each swings aside to reveal three other drawers. Above the rolltop, the rectangular structure consists of a single wide drawer. The artist's creativity is evident in the chinoiserie marquetry scenes, created by using minute pieces of naturally colored exotic woods that have a painterly effect.
See Collections to learn more about this desk.
This desk is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).
David Roentgen: Long-Case Clock
The Roentgens' Berlin Secretary Cabinet
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Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Demonstration
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Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Animation
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Vase with cover
Vase (one of a pair)
Toilet jar with cover
Bottle cooler (Seaux à demi-bouteille) (one of a pair)
Bottle cooler (Seau à bouteille)
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 551
This small globular vase is the surviving bottom half of what was known as a double gourd vase. It dates from the earliest years of the Saint-Cloud manufactory, the first in France to produce artificial or soft-paste porcelain commercially. The decoration in cobalt blue reflects the influence of imported Chinese porcelains, but the designs of arabesques and fantastic creatures is French in origin.
Marking: pseudo-Chinese calligraphy
Karrick Riggs (until 1947; Pauline Riggs Noyes sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, February 7, 1947, no. 69; sold to Bensimon); [ Gaston Bensimon , New York, before 1950; sold to Wilson ]
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