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| Superb Louis XVI marquetry secrétaire à abattant by David Roentgen. The desk is veneered with exceptional marquetry depicting trophies, flowers and exotic birds amongst trees. The abattant is beautifully veneered with a trophy of agricultural tools and flowers hung from twisted ribbons. The tulipwood-veneered interior has a nest of eleven cedar drawers and compartments. The lower doors are marquetried with floral sprays opening to an interior with two drawers. The proper right upper side panel portrays a bird sitting in a tree with another flying before it; the proper left upper side panel shows a parrot and another smaller bird sitting in a tree. Both lower side panels are veneered with floral sprays. The top is veneered, possibly originally with a partial gallery. The legs are inlaid with brass swags. It has later double baluster twisted columnar corner mounts and the original delicate escutcheons.
A secrétaire with identical marquetry but richly mounted in ormoulu, and having identical corner mounts, was sold by the Bolsheviks at Lepke’s auction house in 1928 (Lot 2000). It is presently in the Niarchos collection and is illustrated in many books. The present secrétaire, probably made for the German market, (most likely, Schloss Assenheim) has identical marquetry panels, but arranged differently, the birds being on the sides here, rather than on the front doors. When the Russian secrétaire was seen on the market in the 1930’s, the original German quarter round columns were changed to more “important” corner bronzes that could tie it to the Russian taste piece.
[Columnar mounts and their supports later.]
Illustrated: Roentgen Furniture: Hans Huth; N.Y. 1974. Page 77, figure77 (with the original quarter round mounts)
Ex collection: Schloss Assenheim
|Height (ins.): 55.5 (141 cm.) Length/Width (ins.): 35.5 (90.5 cm.) Depth (ins.): 15 (38 cm.)|
|Origin: Neuwied, 1780 Period: Louis XVI|