The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Chest-of-drawers
  • Attributed to Johann Gottlob Fiedler (c. 1735)
  • Germany
  • c. 1786
  • Oak, pine, mahogany, amaranth, ebony, box, boxwood drawer rollers, gilt bronze and brocatello marble top
  • Object size: 89 x 131.1 x 61.6 cm
  • Stamp: 'RIESNER'
  • F521
  • Great Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This chest-of-drawers is attributed to Johann Gottlob Fiedler (1735-after 1818) on the basis of its similarity to a pair of chests-of-drawers, one of which is now in Schloss Charlottenburg, and the other one is signed 'Feidler. fec. 1785'. There are five other chests-of-drawers by him that form a stylistically coherent group and are probably close in date. At least some of them are likely to have been commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II, who succeeded to the Prussian throne in 1786 and had the King's apartments in the Berlin Schloss remodelled by F. W. von Erdmannsdorff (1736-1800). Prince Heinrich of Prussia (1726-1802) is also likely to have commissioned one of these chests-of-drawers.
    The channelled mounts on this piece are closely influenced by those on furniture by David Roentgen (1743-1807), to whom it was attributed in 1865 when the 4th Marquess of Hertford lent it to the Musée Rétrospectif in Paris. The gilt-bronze laurel swags appear to be more influenced by early French neo-classicism, and possibly by the engravings of J.-F. Neufforge (1714-91).
    It is stamped on the top 'RIESNER', which is an incorrect spelling of the famous 18th-century cabinet-maker's name and which is likely to have been put on in the 19th century when Riesener furniture was highly in demand from wealthy collectors; this faux stamp would have had the effect of raising the chest-of-drawers' value in a sale room.