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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.
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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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Plate depicting a lady with parasol
Dish with a scene of tea cultivation (one of a pair)
Dish with tiger and bamboo
Plate with lion-dogs
Dish with stylized flowers
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 201
This dish depicts several stages in the production of metal canisters intended to contain tea. These cylindrical containers were used to transport tea to Canton, where it was repacked in metal-lined wooden chests for shipment to Europe and elsewhere.
[ Ginsberg and Levy, Inc. , New York, 1971; sold to MMA ]
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