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Secrétaire
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Johannes Andreas Beo, furniture worker; clock movements by Christian Mollinger, clockmaker
German, Berlin, about 1798 - 1799
Oak veneered with satinwood; white marble; gilt bronze mounts
8 ft. x 3 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft.
84.DA.87

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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.

Detail Views

Clock face
Clock face


Other Views

Mechanical fittings activated
Mechanical fittings activated

Fall front lowered
Fall front lowered