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Double Desk
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Gift of J. Paul Getty
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Stamped by Bernard van Risenburgh II
French, Paris, about 1750
Oak veneered with tulipwood, bois satiné, and kingwood; gilt-bronze mounts
3 ft. 6 1/2 in. x 5 ft. 2 1/2 in. x 2 ft. 9 3/8 in.
70.DA.87

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The double form of this unusually large desk is unique. When lowered, both sides form writing surfaces and reveal drawers and pigeonholes veneered with marquetry. The finely cast and chased gilt-bronze mounts delineate the edges of the drawers, front, and legs. On the fall fronts of the desk, bunches of marquetry flowers seem to sprout from the sculptural mounts.

The desk was probably made for the fermier général (a type of tax collector) François-Balthazar Dangé; a similar desk is described in an inventory taken at his death in 1777. The desk is also found in the 1795 inventory of his son Louis, who was guillotined during the French Revolution.

Detail Views

B.V.R.B. stamp
B.V.R.B. stamp

Interior drawer fronts
Interior drawer fronts


Other Views

Side
Side

Desk open
Desk open