Rolltop Desk by David Roentgen: Demonstration

The inventive talents of David Roentgen are evident in this exceptionally refined desk. The monogram DR inlaid beneath the kehole on the lower drawer indicates the cabinetmaker’s satisfaction with one of his most mechanically ingenuous creations: a single key inserted at different depths unlocks the center drawer, releases the rolltop, or releases the hidden side drawers; if a button is pressed on the underside of these drawers, each swings aside to reveal three other drawers. Above the rolltop, the rectangular structure consists of a single wide drawer. His artistic creativity is evident in the chinoiserie marquetry scenes, created by using minute pieces of naturally colored exotic woods that have a painterly effect.

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