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David Roentgen

An important German ormolu mounted and brass-inlaid mahogany roll-front cylinder bureau

Sold for 1.150.000 SEK at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale 7-10 June 2017.

813. An important German ormolu mounted and brass-inlaid mahogany roll-front cylinder bureau.
By David Roentgen, Neuwied, ca. 1785‑90. Not signed.
Louis XVI, Germany.

SEK 400.000 – 600.000
€ 41.000 – 62.000

As one of the most successful cabinet-makers of the 18th century David Roentgen (1743-1807) is a name certain to attract attention from clients of historical furniture. Like many of his contemporaries David Roentgen inherited his trade from his father Abraham Roentgen, who himself was regarded as the foremost cabinet maker of the Louis XV period.

David Roentgen officially took control of the Roentgen workshop in Neuwied when his father died in 1772 but he had in fact been in control for far longer. His mastermind of mechanics combined with artistic refinement was a successful combination for furniture which attracted the European elite of the late 18th century. Roentgens royal commissions were plentiful and he is represented in many of the collections of the courts and foremost aristocratic palaces around Europe.

The Russian demand for Roentgens furniture developed after he visited St. Petersburg in 1783 and sold over 300 pieces of furniture to the Empress Catherine II of Russia. The elegance of Roentgens Russian furniture is sublime and came to be the starting point of the Russian boom in the late 18th century of furniture venereed with mahogany and richly decorated with brass and ormolu. Amongst many, one of the important followers of Roentgen was Christian Meyer who continued to make furniture in the style of David Roentgen.

This auction’s roll-front cylinder bureau is almost identical to the roll-front cylinder bureau supplied by Roentgen to Empress Maria Feodorovna which still today can be seen in the Pavlovsk palace. It bears many of the significant features of David Roentgen. The removable legs, the refined mehcanics in the roll front cylinder, the mechanical drawers and the high quality of details of the brass and ormolu mounts.

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