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