This writing table belongs to a group of furniture sharing common characteristics, i.e. shape, structure and proportions, together with extremely precise marquetry, often with a floral pattern, usually arranged on a maple-sycamore background.
- a table, formerly in the Burat Collection, sold by Me Ader, Charpentier Gallery, June 17-18, 1937 (the tray adorned with drapery and a table with Royal attributes)
- a table sold by Me Rheims, Charpentier Gallery, June 14, 1955, lot 56 (with marquetry floral bouquets and ribbons)
- a table sold at Christie's, Paris, November 7, 2012, lot 245 (with floral and ribbon marquetry)
Established in Neuwied in 1742, the Roentgen workshop was renowned for the quality of its craftsmanship, cabinetmaking and marquetry and David Roentgen continued his father's skills and established his business in France. He was well received and commissioned by amongst others, Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, the Count of Artois and Baron Grimm, acting on behalf of Catherine the Great of Russia.
The particular manner in which marquetry is presented on furniture often allows it to be the signature of the cabinetmaker. Through the use of contrasting wood, colour and shadowing, it allows for the accentuation of the effect, perspective and relief of the subject. The composition in the present piece is sparse with a particularly innovative use of showing the butterflies in various stages of flight.
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