Architectural table.

Posted: 17/03/2013 in Tools


One of the best antique architect’s tables seen in recent years goes on the block tomorrow, April 20, at Sotheby’s Paris. Known as a table à la Tronchin—after Théodore Tronchin, an unconventional 18th-century Swiss physician who advised a sluggish aristocrat “to write at a raised desk, while resting against a tall stool”—it is the work of the greatest ébéniste of the Louis XVI period, Jean-Henri Riesener, who in this instance combined ebony and mahogany with gilt-bronze mounts. Closed, the Tronchin table gives little hint of its actual purpose; fully opened, however, it looks something like an aircraft carrier, with two sliding surfaces for holding candlesticks, a frieze drawer for storage, and the ubiquitous racheting work surface floating above it all. The table’s twin was once owned by the French royal family. Sotheby’s estimates it will bring between €25,000 and €50,000 ($33,180–$66,360).


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