The J. Paul Getty Museum

Secrétaire

Object Details

Title:

Secrétaire

Artists/Makers:

By Johannes Andreas Beo (German, active late 1700s, master about 1799)

with clock movement by Christian Möllinger (German, Prussian, 1754 - 1826)

Culture:

German

Place:

Berlin, Germany (Place Created)

Date:

about 1798–1799

Medium:

Oak, spruce, and Scots pine veneered with mahogany, maple, Ceylon satinwood, rosewood, ebony, and holly; white marble; bronze; gilt-bronze mounts; enameled metal; glass

Object Number:

84.DA.87

Dimensions:

243.8 × 111.8 × 60.9 cm (96 × 44 × 24 in.)

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Object Description

This secrétaire is designed in a rigidly architectonic style composed of classical elements such as columns, pilasters, and a cupola. The panel in the midsection lowers to reveal drawers and pigeonholes designed as small rooms, with parquetry walls and floors in many different naturally colored woods. Concealed above the fall front is a reading stand; below are drawers that can be rotated outwards.

The interior of the secrétaire where the wood has been protected from daylight is pale yellow. This means that the cabinet has darkened considerably over time; with its pale wood veneer, white marble plaques, and gilding, it would have seemed much less somber. The secrétaire once had a large musical movement inside its base, which played a tune when the clock struck the hour.

Provenance
Provenance
about 1802 -

Frederick William III, king of Prussia, 1770 - 1840 (Schloss Potsdam, near Berlin, Germany)

-

Private Collection (Berlin, Germany)
Source: Private correspondence dated October 20, 1987. In the files of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

-

Ragaller (Munich, Germany)
Source: Private correspondence dated October 20, 1987. In the files of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

- 1956

Private Collection [sold, Weinmüller, Munich, May 2-4, 1956, lot 1111.]

- 1974

Private Collection [sold, Weinmüller (Neumeister), Munich, October 23-24, 1974, lot 861.]

- 1983

Private Collection (Munich, Germany), sold to Juan Portela Antiques, 1983.

1983 - 1984

Juan Portela Antiques (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.
Source: advertised in catalogue for the thirtieth Winter Antiques Show, a benefit for East Side House Settlement, January 21-29, 1984, p. 254.

Bibliography
Bibliography

Wellensiek, Hertha and Robert Keyszelitz. Art-price annual 1974-1975, vol. 30 (Munich: Kunst & Technik Verlag, 1975), p. 91.

Freytag, Claudia. Bruckmann's Möbel-Lexikon (Munich: Bruckmann, 1978), p. 214, 299, fig. 86.

Stürmer, Michael. Handwerk und höfische Kultur: Europäische Möbelkunst im 18. Jahrhundert (Munich: Beck, 1982), pp. 193, 196, pl. 102.

Fabian, Dietrich. Die Entwicklung der Roentgen-Schreibmöbel (Bad Neustadt a. d. Saale: D. Pfaehler, 1982), pp. 54-55, figs. 77d-g.

Kreisel, Heinrich and Georg Himmelheber. Die Kunst des deutschen Möbels: Möbel und Vertäfelungen des deutschen Sprachraums von den Anfängen bis zum Jugendstil. Vol. 3, Klassizismus, Historismus, Jugendstil (Munich: Beck, 1983), p. 369, fig. 262.

Fabian, Dietrich. Kinzing und Roentgen Uhren aus Neuwied (Bad Neustadt a. d. Saale: D. Pfaehler, 1984), p. 147.

"Acquisitions/1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), p. 184, no. 68.

Wilson, Gillian, Charissa Bremer-David, and C. Gay Nieda. "Selected Acquisitions Made by the Department of Decorative Arts in 1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), pp. 83-88, no. 5.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 114, no. 240.

Fabian, Dietrich. Roentgenmöbel aus Neuwied (Bad Neustadt a. d. Saale: D. Pfaehler, 1986), pp. 305, 312, figs. 724-27.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 230, no. 398.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996), pp. 148-51, no. 20.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 200, no. 397.

Stiegel, Achim. Berliner Möbelkunst: vom Ende des 18. bis zur Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2003), pp. 95, 308, 316-319, fig. 29, pl. 4.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 265, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 311, ill.