Made by German David Roentgen the desk appears in an inventory of 1811 as being in the bedroom of William 5th Duke of Devonshire. The desk is neo-classical in style, austere and large in scale with subtle coloured mahogany accented with gilt-bronze mounts.
The desk opens by turning a key in a specific order in the locks at the front, once inside internal mechanisms allow the cylinder top to turn, whilst hidden buttons open further parts and reveal hidden compartments.
The mechanisms were a trademark of Roentgens who designed and promoted his pieces across Europe, patronized by Queen Marie-Antoinette and Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia as well as other European Royalty and nobility. His pieces were the height of modernity and spoke of quiet good taste.
Other furniture in the Collection
Tom Price (born 1973); Resin bench: polyester resin, polyurethane resin, tar, acrylic, LEDs; Coal bench: coal, PVA, jesmonite, MDF, steel; 2014-15
Enignum II chairs
Joseph Walsh (born 1979), olive, ash and suede, 2014
George II giltwood armchairs
William Kent (1685-1748), c.1730
Richard Roberts, circa 1723
Joris Laarman bench
Joris Laarman, 2020