Art market Magazine May 2016

 
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Attributed to David Roentgen (1743-1807),…
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Attributed to David Roentgen (1743-1807), mahogany table with mechanisms, Louis XVI period, c. 1780-1785, 83 x 84 x 55 cm. Estimate: €180,000/220,000.

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GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL / UPCOMING AUCTIONS

Roentgen, mechanic and cabinetmaker
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Monumental despite its modest size, and concealing mechanical marvels behind its apparent
sobriety, this dressing table being sold at Drouot by J.J. Mathias, Baron Ribeyre & Associés, E. Farrando, evokes the work of David Roentgen, to whom it is attributed. His architectural furniture with hidden mechanisms brought the cabinetmaker instant fame, and Louis XVI himself fell for a highly novel roll-top desk, which has not survived but was described in 1799. It was constructed according to the three Greek orders, had concealed spring-loaded secret drawers, and featured a clock and a musical box. Admitted as master the following year, the craftsman gave full rein to his inventiveness with his surprise-filled furniture, produced in collaboration with the clockmaker Peter Kinzing. Several similar dressing tables are known, one of which is now in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Like the model here, going for around €200,000, the main body and top slide back to reveal a mirror, a desk and two pivoting drawers, as well as side compartments with curtains. However, its gilt bronze handles are in drapery-form instead of the rings in the Drouot version. Again from the Louis XVI period, a set of gilt wood drawing room furniture stamped by Georges Jacob, with the Duc de Penthièvre's brandmark for the Château de Chanteloup, are sure to draw attention, while painting lovers will linger over several 17th century works: a "Study of a man holding a torch" (€30,000/40,000) by Anthony van Dyck and a "Village by moonlight" with the initials "AVDN", standing for Aert van des Neer (€80,000/120,000). Sophie Reyssat

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Art Market Magazine May 2016
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