Veneered projection chest of drawers opening with five drawers in three rows, concealing the crosspieces of the two lower drawers.
Projected rear uprights and recessed rounded front uprights ending in arched feet.
The chest of drawers has a slight projection in its center.
Rosewood decoration in amaranth frames highlighted with boxwood fillets, forming reserves for the bronzes. Ornamentation of chiseled and gilded bronzes: scraps, clasps, sabots, rings and keyholes.
Apron decorated with a medallion with a man's head and framed with stylized openwork acanthus leaves and a ribbon garland, in gilded bronze. Five keyholes forming medallions surrounded by a ribbon garland, in gilded bronze. Four rings of drawings in medallion with a man's head, surrounded in pearled gilded bronze.
Its top is topped with Aleppo breccia marble molded with a cavetto.
Work from the Transition period, stamped RIESENER received Master on January 23, 1768.
Usage and maintenance restorations
Dimensions: H 88,5 cm x W 130 cm x D 61 cm
A similar Riesener chest of drawers is on display at Versailles
Former collection of the painter Henri-François Riesener (1767-1828), son of the cabinetmaker then Léon Riesener collection, Riesener family. And Legacy of Madame Raymond Escholier in 1969 (see Photos)
Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806) became a master on January 23, 1768, and is undoubtedly one of the greatest cabinetmakers of his century.
A student of Jean-François Oeben from 1755 when he arrived in Paris, he recovered his workshop upon his death in 1763 and married his widow, to the despair of his colleague Jean-Francois Leleu.
It was in 1774, with the enthronement of Louis XVI, that its fame became most exponential.
He created one of the most magnificent pieces of furniture known to date, commissioned in 1760 from Oeben; Louis XV's roll-top desk for Versailles. Once completed in 1769, the prestige of creating the desk earned him to be considered in society and high society as the best cabinetmaker. He obtained the title of ordinary cabinetmaker of the Mobilier de la Couronne in 1774 following Gilles Joubert.
The prestige of his achievements no longer needs to be achieved, orders continue to flow in. He created them for more than 10 years for very beautiful royal residences such as Versailles, the Château de Fontainebleau, the Trianon and Marly etc... For the Duke of Orléans and the Count of Artois, and many others . Although his productions were considered very expensive and lost part of his clientele over time, he remained Marie-Antoinette's favorite cabinetmaker.
He created numerous pieces of furniture for him, such as a chest of drawers, which like ours, was abandoned inlaid in favor of “simple” and pure veneers, thus highlighting the bronzes themselves which were lightened in Riesener’s furniture.
The particularity of our furniture, in addition to its quality of execution, is the stamp of this fabulous cabinetmaker. He is mentioned in many works as one of the best of this century.
One of its examples in French Furniture of the 18th Century by Giacomo Wannenes, states “this type of chest of drawers faithfully executed in the pure and sober line of the style is very appreciated in France and less in Italy. Stamped by Riesener, it is one of the examples whose signature enhances the furniture regardless of its artistic level.
The cabinetmakers of the 18th century in France, the Great Artisans of the Past / Knowledge of the Arts collection, have entirely dedicated 16 pages to him. And the Pierre Kelljberg French furniture of the 18th century, no less than 22 pages, explaining the mastery of this artist in the production of furniture and style.
They mention the artistic evolution of Riesener between marquetry and proliferation of pieces in gilded bronze, up to the variety of more sober furniture, in mahogany or like ours in rosewood and amaranth. p 742, edition of the Amateur 2008 “Several chests of drawers with slight projection (…) illustrate this category of robust and architectural furniture, but soberly decorated. No longer in mahogany but in rosewood veneer framed with amaranth, a chest of drawers sold in Monaco on February 23, 1986 is of the same spirit. With its counterpart, put up for sale in London on April 30, 1965 (n°207), it was delivered in 1783 for the King's service at Fontainebleau. See photo at the end of the file.
It is not because Riesener's style became lighter, his forms became more sober and the use of bronze was used more sparingly, that he was not, until the end, an outstanding master cabinetmaker with admirable quality of execution.
Kjellberg, p 748 “On these works with perfect proportions, rigorous without dryness, remarkably finished, the “Riesener” quality appears just as dazzling as on the “rich” models.
Riesener's production moved from furniture rich in floral marquetry and bronzes, to a more sober style but still combining quality with finesse of execution.
Many of his pieces of furniture are today in very large museums or prized by very great collectors. We find them at the Château de Versailles, at that of Fontainebleau, at Chantilly, at Compiègne, but also at the Decorative Arts of Lyon and Paris, at the National Archives of Paris, at the Carnavalet museum, at the Louvre etc... and in many other international museums, such as in London, the United States, Vienna, Lisbon and Amsterdam...
He is a cabinetmaker who has proven that he is perfectly capable of grace and lightness and that a piece of furniture is not only enhanced by its marquetry but also by its quality of execution. It will influence neo-Louis XVI production in the 19th century and occupies an undeniable place in the evolution of French furniture.
Some very good sales of Riesener furniture:
sold for 312,000 euros sale of June 9, 2002, Orangerie de Cheverny, lot 128
sold for €97,196 Sale of December 14, 2011, Arcurial, lot 37 (estimate €80,000 – 120,000)
Estimate 200,000 – 300,000 euros sale on September 15, 2012 Kohn, Hotel le Bristol, Paris, Lot 155
sold for €60,960, sale on June 28, 2023, Sotheby's Paris, lot 321, (estimate €50,000 – 80,000)
5 800 €
7 200 €