Neoclassical Roll Top Painted Secretary, Germany circa 1830

(Germany, 19th Century)

Neoclassical Roll Top Painted Secretary, Germany circa 1830
1610 Bissonet Street
Houston, TX, 77005
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Neoclassical Roll Top Painted Secretary, Germany circa 1830


This unusual painted roll top German desk is notable for its elegant painted detail and the wonderful capacity for storage it contains. The desk is elevated on bracket feet front and back and decorated over the entire surface because it was always intended to be seen from multiple directions. Please take a moment to enlarge the photographs to see the charming motifs that forst appeared during the Neoclassical period at the end of the eighteenth century including mythological references as well as balanced and symmetrical scrolls and flourishes. There is a large oval medallion on the actual curve of the roll top as well as a rectangular section on the middle drawer front each with a black background. The contrast between the mellow color of the secreatry and the deep color of the scenes is marvelous and adds visual interest and a dramatic flair. There are four drawers in this roll top desk, one above the curved slide and three in the lower section. It is intriguing to notice the difference between the lowest drawer which is enhanced with a molded edge and the middle drawer in the base which is entirely recessed and the top drawer which again sits a little forward above the middle drawer. These slight differences all capture light and create a sense of movement across the surface that an entirely flat drawer cannot accomplish. The topmost drawer fully opens as do the lower drawers to provide an amazing amount of storage. When the roll top is lifted on this desk a marvelous world is revealed. Four interior drawers flank a recessed section with two drawers on each side and at the rear of the recess is a mirror plate used originally to reflect the light from a lit candle. The section beneath the drawers actually slides forward to reveal a large area for writing and on each side of this section are open spaces used for pens and inks and general supplies needed when conducting correspondence in the nuneteenth century. By sliding forward away from the front of the desk it is easy to be seated in a chair while working at the desk. There is ample space for a laptop to slide within when the roll top is closed. The painted surface within possesses deeper richer colors than the exterior and this was by design to provide a clear contrast between the inner and outer areas of the roll top. The scale of this antique roll top desk is quite impressive and will definitely be a focal point in any interior as well as terrifically functional.

WIDTH: 50 in | HEIGHT: 53 in | DEPTH: 28 in

Origin Germany
Category Secretaires
Period 19th Century
Style Neoclassical

Shipping Estimate: $400 | White glove

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THB REF: 7943122014 DEALER REF: DR9