(b. 1743, Herrnhaag, d. 1807, Wiesbaden)

Writing table

Maple, mahogany, tulipwood, cherry, oak, gilt bronze, barberry
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This delicate table was made in the workshops of the most inventive cabinet-maker of the 1780s - David Roentgen. From his workshops in Neuwied, Germany, he sold pieces throughout Europe. He even designed them to be taken apart for packing - in this case, the legs unscrew.

The frieze panels, showing neither locks nor handles, open to provide a central drawer fitted with a writing panel, and with a nest of small drawers. The drawer is opened by pressing a metal stud under the front of the table. When it is fully opened, it automatically releases the catches of two side drawers that hinge out from the body of the table.

The top inlaid with a view of Aeneas carrying his father Anchises from the ruins of Troy was made after a design by Januarius Zick.