Furniture and Antique


Jean-Henri Riesener
Gladbeck, 1734 - Paris, 1806

Around 1780, bird’s eye mahogany, gilt bronze, slate-blue marble, 90 x 112 x 112 cm
Tapestry Room

Like many cabinetmakers of German origin, Jean-Henri Riesener moved to the suburb of Saint-Antoine to escape the prohibitions of the Parisian guild. He was to enjoy success and an improvement in status, leading him to become the official supplier of furniture to the Crown. This extraordinary destiny stems from the role he played in the move from the Rococo to the Neo-Classical style. Other cabinetmakers had preceded him, but Riesener was unmatched when it came to creating exceptional furniture, like this chest of drawers. Its strictly geometric shapes and mahogany veneer (replacing composite veneers) play on intensity and avoid an abundance of extravagance.

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