An oval working table by David Roentgen

An oval working table by David Roentgen - image-1
An oval working table by David Roentgen - image-2
An oval working table by David Roentgen - image-3
An oval working table by David Roentgen - image-4
An oval working table by David Roentgen - image-1An oval working table by David Roentgen - image-2An oval working table by David Roentgen - image-3An oval working table by David Roentgen - image-4

An oval working table by David Roentgen

Rosewood, walnut, elm, ash, boxwood, maple, and stained wood veneers on a corpus of oak, softwood, and cherry. Green leather writing surface with gilt embossed border (replaced), ormolu and brass mountings. Multi-functional table on four removable tapering square section supports terminating in casters. A wide push-to-open drawer to the front with a writing surface above two interior drawers and a spring mechanism to open the two hinged side segments. These segments fitted with compartments above two drawers. The legs emphasised with darker veneered edges and with appliqués of laurel festoons hung from ribbons on three of the faces. Above the legs avant-corps with triglyphs and stepped terminals. The edge of the tabletop with a brass border. The top inlaid with a panel of fine figural marquetry made to resemble a trompe l'oeil medallion hanging from the walnut veneer. The four faces of the apron inlaid with depictions of animals on earth mound bases framed by broad gilt milleraies mountings. Monogrammed “DR” on the collar of the dog sitting by its kennel on the right side compartment. Inconspicuous shrinkage cracks to the tabletop. H 72, W 65, D 46 cm.
Neuwied, circa 1775 - 80.

In his 1948 publication, Josef Maria Greber describes the marquetry panels by David Roentgen in the collection of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna which measure 3.5 m in height and 3.75 m in width, as the “largest inlaid panels in the world”. David Roentgen followed in his father's footsteps, creating furniture with magnificent pictorial inlaid décor which became something of a hallmark of his courtly designs. However, David Roentgen managed to establish his own unique new style with detailed renderings of motifs by Januarius Zick (1730 - 1797). His workshop employees were able to perfectly reproduce the drawings of the Koblenz based artist, and the decoration of the present work is also thought to be based on one of his motifs. The first step in this process was to draw out an outline grid in order to “translate” the drawing into wood slivers, which were then cut by artists such as Michael Rummer. In this table, the so-called working drawing is attributed to the engraver Elie Gervais (1721 - 1791). We know of several other examples of this scene of children playing dice as a dog looks on in the background, but this panel in the manner of a trompe l'oeil medallion is certainly the finest. The fact that the dog on the side panel bears the rare monogram of David Roentgen on its collar is a subtle testimony to his pride in this particular piece. Several types of signature were used in his workshop, but marquetry signatures are exceedingly rare. We know of another oval table with the inlaid signature “R” which is dated to a similar time and housed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (inv. no. BK-16678).


Auctioned by Sotheby´s London on 6th July 1979, lot 254.
The Partridge Collection, London.
Private collection, USA.
Private collection, Westphalia.


Illustrated in Fabian, Roentgenmöbel aus Neuwied, Bad Neustadt 1986, illus. 82 - 84.
Illustrated in Fabian, Abraham und David Roentgen. Das noch aufgefundene Gesamtwerk ihrer Möbel- und Uhrenkunst in Verbindung mit der Uhrmacherfamilie Kinzing in Neuwied. Leben und Werk, Verzeichnis der Werke, Quellen, Bad Neustadt 1996, no. 41.
The marquetry of the table top illustrated on the cover of Greber, Abraham und David Roentgen. Möbel für Europa, vol. 2, Starnberg 1980, and on the cover of Fabian, Roentgenmöbel aus Neuwied, Bad Neustadt 1986.
For more on the pigments used and the technique of wood staining in Roentgen's workshop, see Michaelsen/Buchholz, Vom Färben des Holzes, Petersberg 2006, p. 478 ff.
Cf. Baarsen, Duitse meubelen, Amsterdam-Zwolle 1998, no. 14.

Lot 400 Dα

150.000 € - 200.000 €

187.500 €