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Attributed to Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806)

Roll top desk (bureau à cylindre) c. 1775-80

Oak, purplewood, mahogany, casuarina wood, holly, boxwood and sycamore, with gilt bronze mounts | 128.9 x 137.8 x 81.3 cm | RCIN 2431

White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace

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Jean-Henri Riesener was a French royal ébéniste, who worked in Paris. He became ébéniste ordinaire du roi (cabinet-maker to the king) in 1774; his work exemplifies the Louis XVI style.

This piece was purchased by George IV at the George Watson-Taylor sale at Christie’s and was intended to furnish Windsor Castle. It was described at the time as having belonged to Louis XVI. The desk is similar in shape and construction to a desk at Waddesdon Manor, thought to have been for Louis XV’s daughter.