Verdex
Verdex
25 February 2023, 13:29

Royal furniture at Versailles: chest of drawers by Jean-Henri Riesener

Royal furniture at Versailles: chest of drawers by Jean-Henri Riesener
One of the oak chests of drawers with which Marie Antoinette adorned Versailles was made by the French furniture maker Jean-Henri Riesener. An outstanding representative of neoclassicism, the master often completed orders for the royal family, his objects reflected the tastes of Louis XVI. This item is crafted from oak, walnut, ebony and adorned with gilded bronze and marble.
One of the main advantages of the chest of drawers is the marquetry pattern, which covers a significant part of the surface. This type of decor is a mosaic image of veneer pieces of different textures and colors. Each rhombus with a flower inside consists of 28 carved elements that have been carefully folded and fixed, and in their unity form a lattice pattern. Unfortunately, due to the peculiarities of the wood, its original color has been lost, and now the surface does not have the bright appearance that it used to.
Bronze elements are distinguished by exquisite beauty, testifying to the Queen's love for flowers. There are miniature gilded carnations, roses, lilies of the valley, bindweeds, asters and daffodils. The monogram "MA" leaves no doubt that this chest of drawers was commissioned by the Queen.
The chest of drawers was installed in one of the rooms of the palace, where it stood until 1783. Marie Antoinette's tastes changed and the Queen replaced the furniture with a new set, also made by Riesener.

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