Fit for a king - Abraham and David Roentgen

We are proud in our anniversary year to be able to present the most important auction of Roentgen furniture in Germany since the war. Roentgen furniture from Neuwied has stood as an international term for quality for 250 years. The collection includes 15 superb pieces of furniture from two of the most significant ebenists of the 18th century. The sumptuous German-English special catalogue also contains articles by Dr. Ulrich Leben, Dr. Achim Stiegel and Dr. Ursula Weber-Woelk.

The highlight of the auction is the fantastic early writing cupboard by Abraham Roentgen, the front of which is covered with stunning floral marquetry (estimate € 300,000 – 400,000).

His son David focused on new marketing concepts and moved completely away from the formal canon of the late baroque. His furniture is characterised by a classical simplicity featuring a completely individual surface from the most exquisite veneers, the finest coloured marquetry and elegant gilded bronzes. One exceptional commode from his private collection and sold by the heirs only in 1942 is a shining example of his timeless, elegant style, of impressive details executed to technical perfection (estimate € 200,000 – 250,000). He proudly signed the famous and widely reproduced oval work desk with the rare monogram “DR” (estimate € 150,000 – 200,000). The splendid chinoiserie decoration on a cylinder desk offers us a remarkable insight into the production of his Paris workshop (estimate € 180,000 – 200,000).

The workshop, run by Abraham in Neuwied from 1750 with his son David taking over the management in 1772, was the most famous of its era in Europe. In the 50 years up to around 1800, the cabinet makers produced the most technically advanced, but also the most elegant and beautiful German furniture. Illustrious clients included Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia, Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Czarina Catherine the Great as well as numerous members of the European high nobility.

Abraham Roentgen was inspired by the local products he saw on his early travels to London and the Netherlands and gathered ideas for his own creations. Counted amongst these are the five precious boxes offered here, useful not only for storing tea but also other valuable objects. Even the earliest and smallest objects testify to the highly individual, striking and sophisticated profile of his workshop.

The auction will take place at Lempertz in Cologne on 12 November. A special preview will be held at Lempertz from 19th September to 2nd October.