(Mechanical table) Jean-François Oebenarkegypt
Pharaonic office wall of the Pharaonic civilization
(Mechanical table) Jean-François Oeben
Title: Mechanical table
Maker: Jean-François Oeben (French, born Germany, Heisenberg 1721–1763 Paris)
Maker: and Roger Vandercruse, called Lacroix (French, 1727–1799)
Date: ca. 1761–63
Long recognized as one of Jean-François Oeben’s masterpieces, this table (ca. 1761–63) was made for his frequent and most important client, Madame de Pompadour. The main charge of her coat of arms, a tower, appears at the top of the gilt-bronze mount at each corner. The marquetry of the top—one of the finest panels in all of Oeben’s furniture—was designed to reflect her interests in the arts and depicts a vase of flowers as well as trophies emblematic of architecture, painting, music, and gardening. The table, completed after Oeben’s death by his brother-in-law Roger Vandercruse, demonstrates Oeben’s talents, not only as a creator of beautiful furniture but also as a mechanic: an elaborate mechanism allows the top to slide back at the same time as the larger drawer moves forward, thereby doubling the surface area.
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