270
270
A German gilt-bronze mounted and brass inlaid acajou mouchete metamorphic table by David Roentgen 18th century, top reveneered, legs later.
Estimate
50,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
270
A German gilt-bronze mounted and brass inlaid acajou mouchete metamorphic table by David Roentgen 18th century, top reveneered, legs later.
Estimate
50,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important English and European Decorative Arts

|
New York

A German gilt-bronze mounted and brass inlaid acajou mouchete metamorphic table by David Roentgen 18th century, top reveneered, legs later.
mounts signed A to reverse; the underside with two paper labels one inscribed in ink Seligmann, the other indisctinly printed Garde Meuble Public..., and an inventory marque au feu 'SW' underneath a deer rack.
height 32 in.; width 37 1/2 in.; width 25 3/4 in.
81 cm; 95 cm; 65.5 cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Most probably the Dukes of Württemberg
André Seligmann & Co, Paris
Private European Collection

Literature

Josef Maria Greber, Abraham und David Roentgen, Starnberg, 1980, vol. I, p. 227 and vol. II, p. 300, pl. 586
Fabian, Dietrich, Abraham and David Roentgen, Bad Neustadt/Saale, 1996, p. 66, pl. 113

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:

Hans Huth, Roentgen Furniture, London, 1974, p. 20
Michael Stürmer, 'Bois des Indes' and the Economics of Luxury Furniture in the Time of David Roentgen, Burlington Magazine, no. 909, vol. CXX, December 1978, pp. 799-805.

Catalogue Note

This highly sophisticated table, with its elaborate mechanism designed to accommodate a whole spectrum of domestic activities, is typical for Roentgen’s work at the high point of his career in 1785 and can be considered one of the atelier’s most popular models.
At first sight, the present table is impressive with its simple elegance, underlined by the contrast of gilt-bronze mounts and precious, figured mahogany. Opening the table reveals its true function; by engaging complex mechanisms in just a few movements, the table converts into a vanity and dressing table, as well as a writing desk with book rest. Today a small group of virtually identically proportioned and decorated tables can be appreciated in museums and collections. One is in the bedroom of Duchess Anna Amalie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in the Wittumspalais, Weimar (Inv. Nr. 144/1.969), it is illustrated by Fabian, op. cit., p. 63, pl. 106, a, b. Another example is in the collection of the Dukes of Saxe Coburg Gotha in Coburg, it is illustrated by Fabian, op. cit., p. 67, pl. 114 and Greber, vol. II, op. cit., p. 300-1, pl. 587-590. An identical piece is in the King’s bedroom in Schloss Ludwigsburg (Inv. Nr. SchL 1.106.), the former residence of the Dukes and Kings of Württemberg, it is illustrated by Fabian, op. cit., p. 64, pl. 108 a, b. Another example which belonged to Grand Duchess (later Empress) Maria Feodorovna of Russia (1759-1828), née Duchess of Württemberg is in the Palace Museum of Pavlovsk, it is illustrated by Fabian, op. cit., p. 66, pl. 111 and Greber, vol. II, op. cit., p. 299, pl. 585 and p. 303, pl. 592.
Two identical tables recently appeared at auction. One, previously in the Collections of the Grand Dukes of Oldenburg and illustrated by Fabian, op. cit., p. 64, pl. 107, was sold Christie’s, Anholt/Germany, November 20-21, 2001, lot 571. Another one, previously in the Stroganoff Collection, was sold Van Ham, Cologne, May 15, 2015, lot 1073.

DAVID ROENTGEN (1743-1807)
Born in Neuwied as the son of the cabinet-maker Abraham Roentgen (1711-1793), David Roentgen (1743-1807) was one of the greatest ébénistes of his age. David joined his father's workshop in 1757 and officially took control in 1772. The workshop became highly successful under his leadership as he combined a talent for woodwork, mechanical technology and design with a sound instict for business and marketing. 

Roentgen specialized in mechanical furniture as was noted by Goethe who, following a visit to the Roentgen workshop in the company of the preacher Lavater in 1774-5 (Wilhelm Meister's Wanderjaher, 3rd Book, ch. 6, 'Die Neue Melusine') wrote, "Wer einen künstlichen Schreibtisch von Röntgen gesehen hat, wo mit einem Zug viele Federn und Ressorts in Bewegung kommen, Pult und Schreibzeug, Brief- und Geldfächer sich auf einmal oder kurz nacheinander entwickeln, der wird sich eine Vorstellung machen können, wie sich jener Palast entfaltete, in wlechen mich meine süɮe Begleiterin nunmehr hineinzog."


THE MARQUE AU FEU
The marque au feu ‘SW’ surmounted by a deer rack has not yet been fully ascertained. However, the distinctive deer antler motif above the initials ‘SW’ might suggest a Dukes of Württenberg provenance. Three black stag’s antlers of four branches on a field of gold are part of the Coat of Arms of the  Dukes and later Kings of Württemberg. There is no other princely family whose Coat of Arms feature the deer antler motif as prominently as that of the Württemberg family. The letters ‘SW’ could possibly stand for the initials of one of David Roentgen’s best female clients: Duchess Sophia Dorothea of Württemberg (1736-1798). She and her husband Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württenberg (1732-1797) were the parents of Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg (1759-1828), later called Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna of Russia, wife of the future Czar Paul I, who after her arrival in St. Petersburg would become an equally enthusiastic client of Roentgen. As mentioned above, it is known that an almost identical table to the one offered here is in Pavlovsk and formerly belonged to Maria Feodorovna.
The German word for castle being ‘Schloss’, would alternatively make it seem plausible that the initials refer to one of the many castles once owned by the Württemberg family. Schloss Waldenbuch for example was used by the Dukes and later Kings of Württemberg until 1812.

Important English and European Decorative Arts

|
New York