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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
(00:02:20) 11562 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Demonstration
(00:02:17) 18147 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Animation
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Plate (one of a pair)
Armorial Plate: Silenus on an ass, supported by Bacchic revelers
Armorial Plate (tondino): The story of King Midas
Large Dish (tagliere): Pope Leo X presenting a baton to Federigo II Gonzaga, marquis of Mantua, on his appointment as captain general of the Church in 1521.
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 503
Inscription: On white scroll, in blue: "RVGIERI"Marking: Affixed to underside: red medallion with letter "F" in center (collector's mark)
Joseph Fau (until 1884; sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, March 1–2, 1884, nos. 15 -16 (65.6.7 and .8, described); Walter von Pannwitz (by 1925) ; Possibly John Edward Taylor ; [ van Pannwitz collection though Stiebel Ltd. ; sold to MMA ]
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