The Lichtenberg Rococo bureau cabinet

A large Danish rococo bureau cabinet of walnut and giltwood with gilt bronze fittings, keyplates and handles, the top piece richly carved with rocaille and foliage, centered by the Lichtenberg coat of arms. The upper cabinet has two doors with facet cut mirror glass, behind which two colonnades with carved gilwood figures in each niche and two glass painted oval miniatures depicting on the left Gehrdt de Lichtenberg (b. 1697- d. 1764) and on the right his wife Bodil Hofgaard (b. 1711– d. 1795), above them a pair of glass plaques with their monograms with five-pointed crowns. Behind the colonnades are two rectangular painted scenes, oil on canvas, of Sorø Academy and Englesholm estate near Vejle, the doors are internally veneered with padauk parquetry. The middle section with slanted writing flap veneered with padauk, behind which drawers and a mirror cabinet leading to further secret drawers, the floor inlaid with mother-of-pearl and ebony veneer. Bombé shaped lower part with large drawers. Original sledge legs. Later bronzing on all giltwood parts. The bureau is marked with letters in black paint “No. 5”. C. 1760. H. 323 cm. W. 122 cm. D. 63 cm.

Literature: The National Museum's scientific investigations of the inventory at Bidstrup estate, 1952. The investigation was led by museum inspector Tove Clemmesen with Baroness Helle Reedtz-Thott, stud mag. Helle Tobiesen and photographer Niels Elswing, National Museum, as employees.

“The Danish rococo bureau with the Lichtenberg coat of arms on the top piece and the four accompanying chests of drawers are without any kind of cabinetmaker signature, however, there is much evidence that both the bureau and the four chests of drawers were made by the Copenhagen court cabinetmaker Mathias Ortmann (master 1727, died 1757). The chests of drawers are numbered on the back with painted black numbers no.1 to no.4 and the bureau no.5”.


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