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Furniture by one of the greatest cabinet-makers of the eighteenth century

Attributed to Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806)

Roll top desk c. 1775

Oak, mahogany, conifer, purplewood, satiné, tulipwood, stained woods, burr wood, ebony or ebonised wood, box, gilt bronze | 123.2 x 118.7 x 69.8 cm | 2544 |

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Historically, the ‘MA’ ciphers on the sides of this roll top desk were associated with Marie-Antoinette, but the marquetry coat of arms on the back of the desk suggests that it was made for a Daughter of France, most likely Madame Adélaïde, the fourth daughter of Louis XV and aunt to Louis XVI. The marquetry trophy symbolising Poetry and Literature on the roll top also appears on a similar desk Riesener made for the comtesse de Provence in 1773.

Watch the film below to take a closer look at the roll top desk