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This finely crafted piece of furniture has a secret. Swing out a leg, adjust an arm, and voilà! Leaves unfold to reveal multiple configurations: a felt surface for card games, a game board for chess or checkers, a desk with a leather writing surface and book rest. Tug at a hidden latch, and a spring-driven backgammon board pops up.
The brainchild of German cabinetmaker David Roentgen (1743–1807), this sophisticated gaming table once graced the intimate interior of an aristocratic European home. The exquisite piece was not only convenient for entertaining guests, but it was also portable—its legs unscrew so it can easily be packed and moved.
This 3-D animation of the table demonstrates its different configurations and illuminates its concealed features, including drawers for tucking away personal items and compartments for storing game pieces.
See Collections to learn more about this table.
This table is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).
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Alexander I of Russia
Virgin and Child
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 555
Commissioned by Count Anatoly Nicolaevich Demidoff.The subject is a complex, cosmological allegory best described in the sculptor's own words: "Stretched out upon the plan of the world is Cupid, god of generation, sustaining and watching over the symbolic genius of dissolute wealth without virtue, who snores in his sleep . . . dreaming of past diversions in pleasure. Left to himself, the genius of ambitious rectitude in work sleeps the agitated sleep of misfortune and glory. . . his head extending beyond the periphery of the world."The original plaster is in the Gipsoteca Bartoliniana, Florence.
Signature: Signed, and dated (on side of quiver): Bartolini fece 1845 Firenze [executed by Bartolini 1845 Florence]Inscription: On side of quiver: Di commissione del principe / Anatolio Demidoff [Ordered by the prince/Anatole Demidoff]
Commissioned by Prince Anatole Demidov , Villa San Donato, near Florence (1845–d. 1870; his sale, March 4, 1870, no. 228; to Loubat for Fr. 3,400); Joseph H. de Loubat , Paris, (1870–1903; his gift to MMA)
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