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

Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806)

Writing table and filing cabinet c.1780

Oak, conifer, mahogany, purplewood, tulipwood, stained woods, ebony or ebonised wood, box, gilt bronze, enamel | 170.8 x 162.5 x 80.3 cm | 2400 |

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Whilst official cabinetmaker to Louis XVI, Riesener supplied many writing tables to the French royal family and their household, but this example, with an extending writing surface, filing cabinet, clock and sumptuous mounts, is truly exceptional. Though the original owner has not yet been identified, the fact that it was documented as being in the château de Sainte-Assise in 1788, which had been owned by Philippe I, duc d’Orléans, between 1773 and 1787, and that the clock dial is signed by Jacques Debon, who was official clockmaker to the duc, may suggest that Riesener made the desk for his use.

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