Bureau du Roi - ('King's desk') King Louis XV 1760 - DK996


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Bureau du Roi ("King's desk") - Known in France as the Secrétaire Cylindre de Louis XV ("Louis XV roll-top secretary")

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We have the ability to reproduce this desk in the exact same hand and materials as the original shown. We build custom furniture using hand hewn, mortise and tenon joined construction - built the old fashioned way "When everything made in America was built to last forever" and craftsmen were proud to sign their work. Fine art furnishing built from solid walnut, designed from the historical record - all wood species available. Structural frames using solid full length timber (no fake laminates, scarf joints or glued up parts, no veneers, no glue ups, no bolt on legs). Master craftsmanship that ensures your custom furnishing will stand the test of time. A true family heirloom and valuable antiquity. All carvings are hand carved by our master level carvers (no cnc or faux casted resin carving). Includes a fine art multistage hand rubbed finished to world class antique collector standards (no spray on faux fast paint jobs). Master blacksmiths use solid hand forged wrought iron (no castings or hollow faux metals) and heat applied iron oxide hand patina finish (no powder coating or faux paint on iron finishes). Genuine natural stone, top grain leathers (processed in American tanneries only), and fine fabrics available. Order any size or style. Guaranteed Forever - backed by over a century of fine craftsmanship since 1913.


Le Bureau du Roi - Historical Origin & Design Inspiration

This Furnishing Is Over 250 Years Old

The Bureau du Roi ('King's desk'), known in France as the Secrétaire cylindre de Louis XV ("Louis XV roll-top secretary"), is the name given to the richly ornamented royal Cylinder desk whose construction was started under Louis XV and finished under Louis XVI of France. It is the most lavishly decorated desk ever made, surpassing even the huge decorative "Kunstschrank" secretary desks of Germany.

Le Bureau du Roi was probably started in 1760, when the commission was formally announced. Its first designer was Jean-Franois Oeben, the master cabinet maker of the royal arsenal. The first step in its construction was the fabrication of an extremely detailed miniature model in wax. The full scale desk was finished in 1769 by his successor, Jean Henri Riesener, who had married Oeben's widow. Made for the new Cabinet du Roi at the Palace of Versailles, it was transferred to the Louvre Museum in Paris after the French Revolution, but has been returned to the Palace of Versailles in the 20th century where it stands again in the room where it was standing before the Revolution. The Bureau du Roi, or the King's desk, was commissioned under Louis XV in 1760 and completed approximately 9 years later. Royal cabinetmaker Jean-Franšois Oeben started with a miniature model set in wax and developed the intricate mechanisms. The project was passed to Oeben's apprentice, Jean Henri Riesener, after Oeben's death in 1763. Riesener, a later favorite of Marie Antoinette, signed the marquetry with his name and delivered the desk in 1769. His name appears alone.

The Bureau du Roi served both Louis XV and Louis XVI and was privy to the latter's support of the American Revolution. It was moved to the Louvre during the French Revolution but was later returned to the Inner Study of the Private Apartments of Versailles, where it stands today. Adorned with gilt-bronze moldings and candleholders, the Bureau du Roi is a relic of absolutism.

The desk is covered with intricate marquetry of a wide variety of fine woods. In an oval reserve at the center of its 'public' side, away from the king himself, is the marquetry head of Silence, with forefinger to lips, a reminder of the discretion required in the king's business. Gilt-bronze moldings of plaques, statuettes, miniature busts and vases, even integral scrolling gilt-bronze candle stands, further adorn the surfaces of the desk. The original design was to have a miniature bust of Louis XV on top, but it was replaced by Minerva after his death in 1770. Riesener later executed a simplified second version of the Bureau du Roi for Pierre-Gaspard-Marie Grimod, comte d'Orsay; today this may be seen in the Wallace Collection in London.

Source: wikipedia.org

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