Writing table

table à écrire

French (Paris)
about 1780–85
Attributed to Jean-Henri Riesener (French, born in 1734, master 1768, died in 1806)


74.3 x 58.1 x 42.1 cm (29 1/4 x 22 7/8 x 16 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany and "plum-pudding" mahogany veneers and holly banding on oak; gilt-bronze mounts

Not On View




Tables, stands, screens

Oblong, of harewood, elaborately mounted in bronze dore, on trellis, three-quarter gallery top and on under shelf. Drawer and sides paneled by beaded bronze dore, encasing female masks on right and left sides, drawer and rear with escutcheons. Tapering legs edged by bronze dore leafage, ending in leaf sabots. A pull-out reading easel surfaced with green leather tooled in gold above the drawer, which has a small fitted drawer parallel with front.


painted in black enamel on underside M.N. 2584.; Un 6394; a scrolling N.2. (inventory marks for Pavlovsk Palace, Russia).


Pavlovsk Palace, Russia [see note 1]. By 1965, Forsyth Wickes, New York and Newport, RI (d. 1964); 1965, bequest of Forsyth Wickes to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 24, 1965)

[1] Inventory marks on underside of this table are Pavlovsk Palace marks. See J. Munger, 1992, p. 322.

Credit Line

Bequest of Forsyth Wickes—The Forsyth Wickes Collection