A highly important writing desk by Abraham Roentgen

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A highly important writing desk by Abraham Roentgen - image-1A highly important writing desk by Abraham Roentgen - image-2A highly important writing desk by Abraham Roentgen - image-3A highly important writing desk by Abraham Roentgen - image-4

A highly important writing desk by Abraham Roentgen

Red satinwood, rosewood, kingwood, and snakewood, burr walnut, marquetry in holly, hornbeam, stained and scorch-shaded maple on oak corpus, the apron of carved cherry. Brass and ormolu mountings, iron locks, replaced green waxed cloth writing surface with embossed border, "brocatello di Siena" marble. "Secrétaire à abattant" in two parts. Comprising chest of drawers with fall front desk above a stand with zoomorphic carved supports beneath a concave apron with vertical marquetry décor. The upper corpus with a bombé form lower section with two drawers and upper section with a central compartment flanked by two rows of five drawers and two upper drawers. The central compartment surrounded by a double-arched architectural border and with a pull-down blind with zigzag veneered slats concealing seven drawers above a lower compartment. All drawer fronts with lively burr patterned veneer and pronounced borders. The upper corpus with vertically grained veneer, also over the transverse areas and fluting. All three faces decorated with finely detailed floral marquetry framed by filets with rocaille motifs in the centres and corners. The underside of the corpus with a label bearing the stencilled initial “K”. The handles of the large drawers and one bronze mounting to the interior replaced. The key later. Marble restored. Some very minor and unobtrusive shrinkage cracks. H 143.5, W 88, D ca. 55 cm.
Neuwied, circa 1765.

Achim Stiegel not only describes the exact woods used in this piece, but also gives a detailed description of the technique used to make these floral inlays: The maple wood was stained in pale and dark red, green, and blue, and in places scorched shading was used. The contours were engraved with burins or saws and partially infilled with red and black filler which was also used to create dark black shading. Fine pieces of coloured end-grain wood were used for the stamens.

These inlaid motifs may have been based on the prints of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636 - 1699) which also inspired the décor of contemporary Strasbourg faience. The engravings based on his legendary floral still lifes were published by Nicolas de Poilly, but also by Pieter Mortier in Amsterdam, and this is where Abraham Roentgen may have discovered them and decided to use them for his marquetries.

Provenance

Presumably in the possession of the Peters family from the late 19th century until 1984, last owned by Elisabeth Peters in Sidmouth, Devon.
Auctioned by Phillips, Son & Neale in London on 19th June 1984, lot 100.
Otto v. Mitzlaff, Wächtersbach.
In a private collection in Westphalia since 1985.

Literature

Illustrated in Fabian, Roentgenmöbel aus Neuwied, Bad Neustadt 1986, illus. 446 - 458.
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, p. 148f, no. 341.

Lot 407 Dα

Estimate:
300.000 € - 400.000 €

Result:
375.000 €