French Directoire Neoclassical Mahogany Architect's Table/Table à la Tronchin


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Object Description

A late 18th century Directoire mahogany architect’s table. A mechanical table with a double-hinged ratcheted top and the original gold-tooled brown leather lined writing surface, veneered in beautifully, if rather pale, flame-grained polished mahogany. The long frieze drawer displaying the beauty of the mahogany veneer with a central small brass button above the central inset brass key-hole mount that enables the mechanism for adjusting the height and angle of the writing surface. The interior of the frieze drawer is fitted with a leather-covered writing slide above one compartment next to a removable compartment divided into small parts for stationary.
Candle slides underneath the tabletop can be pulled outward to hold adjustable candlesticks. The square, tapering legs with a top molding and brass castors. Closed, the architect’s table gives little hint of its actual purpose appearing as an elegant console table.

Object History

This architect’s table is also known as a ‘table à la Tronchin’ after Théodore Tronchin (Genf 1709- Paris 1781), an unconventional but influential 18th-century Swiss physician who advised a sluggish aristocrat “to write at a raised desk, while resting against a tall stool”. His popularity spread amongst European royalty and the upper classes. The greatest cabinetmakers of the time, such as Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806) and David Roentgen (1743-1807) designed versions of this type of table differing only in the degree of their embellishment, the materials used and the round or square shape of the legs.

Object Literature

Kjellberg, Pierre: Les meubles Francais du 18ie siècle, Paris 2008, p. 189 (here mistakingly called “Claude Chapuis” instead of Jean-Joseph Chapuis, Claude was not a cabinetmaker but a trader).

Object Condition

Very good, wear consistent with age and use – detailed condition report on request

Object Details

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We are open weekly as follows:

12:00 - 18:00
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Dealer Contact


Dealer Location

Jakob F. Mueller Antiquitaeten
Fasanenstrasse 28

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