From Versailles to Waddesdon

A Closer Look: Spotlight on French Royal Furniture by Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806) Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire until 23rd October 2016

Riesner Exhibition, The White Drawing Room, Waddesdon Manor. Photo Mike Fear (C) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Riesner Exhibition, The White Drawing Room, Waddesdon Manor.
Photo Mike Fear (C) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Among its treasures Waddesdon Manor has twelve pieces of furniture that were originally part of the furnishings at Versailles and many of them were made in the workshops of the celebrated royal cabinetmaker Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806) who worked for both Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette.

Henri-François Riesener, Portrait of Jean-Henri Riesener, 1800; Waddesdon Manor, Photo Mike Fear © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Henri-François Riesener,
Portrait of Jean-Henri Riesener, 1800;
Waddesdon Manor, Photo Mike Fear © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

This year two commodes which are normally in the Red Drawing Room are with a third Riesener commode the subject of a special display upstairs in the White Drawing Room. One was made for Louis XVI’s sister Madame Elisabeth, another for Louis XVI’s sister-in-law, the Comtesse de Provence and while the first owner of the third commode remains unknown it is very similar to one provided for Louis XVI’s study at the Petit Trianon.

Long-sayers cutting timber from L'Art du menuisier by André-Jacob Roubo (1739-1791), published between 1769-1774. Bibliothéque nationale de France, département Réserve des livres rares, V-3972

Long-sayers cutting timber from L’Art du menuisier by André-Jacob Roubo (1739-1791), published between 1769-1774. Bibliothéque nationale de France, département Réserve des livres rares, V-3972

 

'Fret-work' marquetry Jean-Henri Riesener, Chest of drawers, 1776. Photo Mike Fear © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

‘Fret-work’ marquetry Jean-Henri Riesener, Chest of drawers, 1776.
Photo Mike Fear © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

 

Engraving from Roubo's L'Art de Menuisier. Bibliothéque nationale de France, département Réserve des livres rares, V-3975 (1)

Engraving from Roubo’s L’Art de Menuisier.
Bibliothéque nationale de France, département Réserve des livres rares, V-3975 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fascinating display allows visitors to view these splendid pieces of furniture – originally intended for linens and clothes – from all angles.  One can truly appreciate the quality of their design, the marquetry inlays and the stunning gilt bronze mounts that make these such an important component in the design and furnishing of 18th century French rooms.

Riesener Exhibition, The White Drawing Room at Waddesdon Manor. Photo Stuart Bebb (c) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Riesener Exhibition, The White Drawing Room at Waddesdon Manor.
Photo Stuart Bebb (c) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk

Jean-Henri Riesener, Chest of drawers, 1778. Photo Hugo Maertens © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Jean-Henri Riesener, Chest of drawers, 1778.
Photo Hugo Maertens © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

 

Jean-Henri Riesener, Chest of drawers, 1776. Photo Hugo Maertens © The National Trust, Waddesdon (2)

Jean-Henri Riesener, Chest of drawers, 1776.
Photo Hugo Maertens © The National Trust, Waddesdon (2)

 

Jean-Henri Riesener, Chest of drawers, 1778; Photo Jérôme Letellier © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Jean-Henri Riesener, Chest of drawers, 1778;
Photo Jérôme Letellier © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

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