An unusual patented escritoire, Berlin or Potsdam, possibly for Charlottenhof Palace, from a court workshop in Berlin, circa 1830
The free-standing wooden corpus veneered in choice mahogany on both the outer and inner surfaces, partly decorated with thread inlays in maple wood. Some of the edges with hollow fullers, the compartment also in maple. On curved runners, tapering downwards, the side panels rising up with a cross bar. This housing the integrated escritoire section, the front of the folding writing surface covered in silk. Fine beaded embroidery in the centre with a portrait of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Behind which, greenish, gold-embossed oilcloth and a slender document compartment with partitions and swivelling drawers. Finally, the mirrored top piece, also swivelling, framed by square columns with spherical finials. Original brass lock and key. Dimensions 181 x 56.5 x 50 cm."The unusual combination of a fire screen and bureau dates back to late 18th century English pioneers, the best known of which is Thomas Sheraton. In spring 1805, the cabinetmaker Adolph Friedrich Voigt successfully filed a patent application in Berlin for this invention, thereby firmly establishing this type of furniture in the consciousness of Berlin furniture design over the following decades, where it was explored by architects such as Karl Friedrich Schinkel." (Achim Stiegel in translation, Berliner Möbelkunst vom Ende des 18. bis zur Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Munich, Berlin 2003, pp. 282, 409, plate 31, p. 419).
We would like to thank Dr. Achim Stiegel for his kind expertise.
Provenance: Similar pieces of furniture are known to exist. One example can be found in the tent room at Charlottenhof Palace in Potsdam and another in the muslin cabinet belonging to Princess Augusta, which is however only documented in a picture of a room at Prince Wilhelm's residence. (Johannes Sievers, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Lebenswerk, Die Möbel. Berlin, 1950, fig. 261) Moreover, reference works show a similar piece in slightly modified form. (Biedermeier-Möbel, Rudolf Pressler. Antiquitätenkatalog.
Augsburg, 1991, p. 127, fig. 149).
Condition: I - II
Minimal traces of age and use. Partly restored. In ready-to-use condition with a wonderfully established patina.