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Mechanical Baroque Desk/Vanity

 

 

Baroque desk/vanity replica

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Description:  This was a private project of Jürgen Eberl. The table is similar in shape and measurements to a table (by Jean-François Oeben ) found in the Louvre, a picture of which can be seen in Pierre Ramond’s book, Marquetry. The details of the marquetry—the inlaid wood designs, the accent lines, etc.—he did himself.

Function: This table functions as a desk or a vanity, with a secret button that, with one push, opens up all of its interior compartments. When one pushes this hidden button, the central drawer comes out 8 inches, while the tabletop moves back 8 inches. This happens with the power of two iron springs and a clever mechanism which is positioned behind the drawer. One must know the location and function of the secret button in order to access the table’s interior, making it an excellent place to store private documents and belongings.

Marquetry: The marquetry combines architectural and natural (i.e. animals, flowers) motifs. Most of the veneer pieces were softly burned in hot sand to get a realistic 3-D effect. All told, more than 3,500 veneer pieces were cut, burned, and put together again like an intricate, homemade puzzle. Upon activating the table’s mechanism, the inside of the drawer splits into three parts: the two sides flip out to be used as shelves, leaving multi-compartmented storage areas underneath, while the middle part can be used as a writing area, bookstand, or mirror, depending on how you position the inner piece. At the bottom of this main drawer is yet another secret button that, when activated, reveals an even smaller hidden drawer inside. 

 Fittings and Mechanism: Most of the metal parts were hand-made, built mostly by himself or with help from friends.

Glue: Bone and fish glue

 Base wood: Walnut 

Veneer: Rosewood, Kingwood, Mahogany, Amaranth, Snakewood 

Marquetry:  Maple, Boxwood, Red Satin, Apple, Ironwood, Plum, Ebony, Maple Burl, Perlmut, Rio Palisander, Olive wood

He used only saw-cut veneer with a thickness of 1-1.5 mm.

Finish: French Polish

 

Length: 34.5 in       Width: 20.5 in        Height: 30 in  

 

 

 

 

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Pictures of the Process

 

 

Biedermeier-replica-sidechair-front360

 

 

 

 

 

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