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The Roentgens' Dressing Table (Poudreuse)

See how this desk converts into a dressing table.

When closed, this table may not seem like one of the most complex pieces of European furniture ever made. However, once opened, its concealed drawers and hidden features are exposed, and the entire piece transforms into a dressing table, orpoudreuse. Scholars believe it was commissioned as a wedding gift from Abraham (1711–1793) and David Roentgen (1743–1807) by Friedrich August III, Elector of Saxony, to his bride in 1769.

This table, from Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, is featured in the exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (on view October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).

Images courtesy of Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt.

Collections, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts (73)

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