This piece is both a sewing table and a writing desk. For the first purpose, it has a rectangular “trough-shaped” top with high edges and rounded ends; for the second, a side drawer with a tray and a silvered metal writing tablet. The intricately cut legs are connected by an oval lower shelf. There are both mosaic and dotted marquetry patterns. A label glued inside the drawer, “StC n°56,” indicates the origin of this dual-purpose table: Riesener delivered it for Queen Marie Antoinette’s “cabinet intérieur” (private apartment) at the Château de Saint-Cloud. The marquetry decoration matched that of a lacquer writing desk in the same room, delivered to the Queen by Adam Weisweiller in 1784.


  • Title: Trough-shaped sewing table
  • Creator: Jean-Henri Riesener
  • Date Created: 1788
  • Rights: © MAD, Paris
  • Medium: Oak veneered with tulipwood, sycamore, amaranth, pearwood, holly and ebony, and adorned with chased gilt bronze

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