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Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806)

Chest-of-drawers (commode), c.1774

Oak and marquetry, gilt bronze, marble | 91.0 x 153.0 x 63.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 21213

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The large-scale marquetry panel on the front of this masterpiece of French decorative art is intended to evoke a pastoral idyll, with straw hat and ribbon, a sheaf of wheat, a basket of flowers and shepherd’s staff. This pastoral idyll was one aspect of an idealised Classical civilisation, as evoked by the Roman poet Virgil in his poems Eclogues and Georgics. Purchased by George IV, 1825.