Quantcast
Unfolding an Eighteenth-Century Gaming Table

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).

Collections, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts (67)

Media thumbnail

Beauty and Belief
(00:01:53) 132 views

Media thumbnail

Silent Dynamism
(00:01:21) 109 views

Media thumbnail

A Family Gripped by Crisis
(00:01:56) 166 views

Media thumbnail

The Body as High Drama
(00:02:01) 62 views

Media thumbnail

Hands: Silent Yet Speaking
(00:01:25) 54 views

Media thumbnail

Focused in Full Sight
(00:01:35) 49 views

Media thumbnail

After Victory
(00:02:07) 122 views

Media thumbnail

The Myth behind the Bust
(00:01:37) 55 views

Media thumbnail

Agony's Body Language
(00:02:02) 96 views

Media thumbnail

One Artist, Many Faces
(00:01:52) 59 views

Media thumbnail

A Face Refuses Contact
(00:01:21) 88 views

Media thumbnail

Collective Anxiety
(00:01:41) 120 views

Media thumbnail

Art or Fiction?
(00:01:55) 129 views

Media thumbnail

Beauty and Laughter Entwined
(00:01:53) 145 views

Media thumbnail

To Bite or Not To Bite?
(00:01:34) 226 views

Media thumbnail

The Roentgens' Rolltop Desk
(00:01:26) 3239 views

Media thumbnail

Abraham Roentgen's Writing Desk
(00:02:07) 8577 views

Media thumbnail

Thinking Outside the Box
(02:22:26) 295 views

Media thumbnail

The Electrotyping Process
(00:03:05) 3967 views