Jean-Henri Riesener / Desk (Secrétaire) / 18th century (1784)Jean-Henri Riesener
Desk (Secrétaire)
18th century (1784)

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Creator Name: Riesener, Jean-Henri
Creator Role: Maker
Creator Dates/Places: 1734-1806
Creator Name-CRT: Jean-Henri Riesener
Title: Desk (Secrétaire)
Title Type: Object name
View: Detail
Creation Start Date: 1784
Creation End Date: 1784
Creation Date: 18th century (1784)
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Woodwork-Furniture
Materials and Techniques: Ebony, kingwood, purplewood, holly on oak; white marble top; gilt-bronze mounts; Japanese lacquer with later French japanned additions
Dimensions: H. 57 in. (144.8 cm), W. 43 in. (109.2 cm), D. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 20.155.11
Credit Line: Bequest of William K. Vanderbilt, 1920

This secretary and its companion commode (MMA, 20.155.12) stood in Marie Antoinette's private apartment at the château de Saint-Cloud; her initials appear three times in the gilt-bronze frieze under the marble top. The opulent refinement of this secretary, made about 1784 by Riesener, responds to the taste of his royal client. Cascading down the front are exquisitely chased gilt-bronze flowers, while fruit, wheat, flowers, and symbols of princely glory spill from the cornucopia mounts along the lower edge. The black-and-gold panels of Japanese lacquer reflect the queen's fondness for this material.

AMICA ID: MMA_.20.155.11
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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