Insider's Guide to Furniture & the Home Furnishings Industry

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What is your favorite furniture?

My favorite furniture in the world.

To truly appreciate the complexity and beauty of the furniture created by the Roentgen family between 1742 - 1800 you must see this 2 minute video.

The father and son team of Abraham and David Roentgen made truly amazing pieces for European royalty, including the courts of Louis XVI of France, Catherine the Great of Russia and King Frederick William II of Prussia.

The prices paid for many of these pieces was extraordinary, an extravagance even for the wealthiest of the European nobility.

Marie Antoinette was a Roentgen client.


Designs included stately clocks that played music, lavishly decorated commodes and multi-topped, multipurpose tables.

The Roentgens are best known for shape-shifting roll-top desks and secretary cabinets, with intricate marquetry, gilded mounts and precious inlay in mother-of-pearl, tortoise shell, bronze and ivory.

Many of these pieces are mechanized with weights and springs, so that the press of a button or turn of a key can activate multiple self-opening doors and pop-out drawers, hidden niches and secret mirrors, candlestick mounts, easels and bookstands.

Roentgen desk 2

Designs included stately clocks that played music, lavishly decorated commodes and multi-topped, multipurpose tables.

Roentgen furniture was famous for its refined wood works and clever designs. In other words, the final products were brilliant and novel. The tables, desks and cabinets featured not only complex locking systems, but also impressive gadgetry.

Roentgen desk 3

Roentgen furniture boasted plenty of design feats. For instance, furniture doors would magically fling open to reveal hidden drawers, music boxes, and secret compartments. Eventually, these exotic and detailed inventions became a favored status symbol for the nobility throughout Europe.

The Roentgen furniture era came to an end due to the French Revolution. The war destroyed the market for all luxury goods By 1801, all Roentgen workshops had closed down.

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