Trough-shaped sewing table

Stamped by Jean-Henri Riesener, Master in 1768
1788
Oak veneered with tulipwood, sycamore, amaranth, pearwood, holly and ebony, and adorned with chased gilt bronze
Inv. CAM 347
© Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / photo: Jean Tholance

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This piece is both a sewing table and a writing desk. For the first purpose, it has a rectangular “trough-shaped” top with high edges and rounded ends; for the second, a side drawer with a tray and a silvered metal writing tablet. The intricately cut legs are connected by an oval lower shelf. There are both mosaic and dotted marquetry patterns. A label glued inside the drawer, “StC n°56,” indicates the origin of this dual-purpose table: Riesener delivered it for Queen Marie Antoinette’s “cabinet intérieur” (private apartment) at the Château de Saint-Cloud. The marquetry decoration matched that of a lacquer writing desk in the same room, delivered to the Queen by Adam Weisweiller in 1784.

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