(b. 1711, Mühlheim, d. 1793, Herrnhut)

Reading and Writing Stand

Pine, oak, and walnut veneered with rosewood, alder, palisander, ivory, ebony and mother-of-pearl; gilded metal fittings, 78 x 72 x 49 cm
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

When closed, this stand appears to be in the form of a table, yet it extends and opens in a complex manner to serve several functions. The height and angle of the upper section can be raised or lowered to form a reading stand, while narrow drawers pop open from the sides. The lower section has two hinged compartments, each containing eight small drawers.

The stand is covered with a pattern of geometric parquetry and inlaid with ivory and mother-of pearl. In the centre of the writing surface is the coat-of-arms of Johann Philipp von Walderdorff, Elector and Archbishop of Trier. Walderdorff filled his palace with elegant furniture, commissioning more than twenty pieces from the maker of this stand, Abraham Roentgen.