Watch a video to find out.
Stay logged in
Go to Navigation
Go to Content
Go to Search
Search the collections
Please enable flash to view this media. Download the flash player.
Please enable flash to view this media.
Download the flash player.
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) 10613 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Demonstration
(00:02:17) 16640 views
Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Animation
(00:01:00) 3015 views
Dinner fork (one of twelve)
Browse current and upcoming exhibitions and events.
This artwork is not on display
Marking:  IT monogram in shaped punch (maker's mark);
 X in square (date letter for 1727-28);
 E P in shaped punch (mark of assay master Edward Penman);
 another; partial strike (three-towered castle Edinburgh town mark)
Location of marks:
- on underside of body inside foot ring.
Major Ian Shaw of Tordarroch, M.B.A. (until 1983; sale, Christie's and Edminston's, Glasgow, March 29 , 1983, no. 83)
© 2000–2013 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.