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The Roentgens' Berlin Secretary Cabinet

Discover the hidden features and intricate interior of this cabinet.

One of the finest achievements of European furniture making, this cabinet is the most important product from Abraham (1711–1793) and David Roentgen's (1743–1807) workshop. A writing cabinet crowned with a chiming clock, it features finely designed marquetry panels and elaborate mechanisms that allow for doors and drawers to be opened automatically at the touch of a button. Owned by King Frederick William II, the Berlin cabinet is uniquely remarkable for its ornate decoration, mechanical complexity, and sheer size.

This cabinet, from Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).

Footage courtesy of VideoART GmbH and Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Collections, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts (73)

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