Furniture & Lighting
Roentgens’ Desks, 18th Century Transformers

If this video of a desk from 18th German cabinet makers the Roentgens (pronounced “RUNT-ghen”) doesn’t blow your neck bolts, nothing will. This and other furniture from the father and son team of Abraham and David are part of “Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until Jan 27th. [Thanks to Alberto Gáitan and Stephen Ellcock!]

28 thoughts on “Roentgens’ Desks, 18th Century Transformers

  1. that really is amazing. i suppose we must suppose that to re-set all those falling weights it’s only a matter of shoving whatever popped-out back in?…i suppose?

  2. I didn’t even -know- I had neck bolts. But, indeed, they are in fact blown.

    I’m sure mcmaster-carr has a neck bolt section here somewhere…

  3. Wow. Master craftsmanship. The inlays alone take an abundance of time and patience to design, craft and assemble. On today’s market, materials and labor, built new, this would probably rival the price of low end super car. Probably not less that $100,000 for the time a master artisan would have in this. Probably a lot more.

    Incidentally, there’s a great free book on Google Play that covers some of the techniques and skills for making such complex inlays with repeating patterns.

    https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Egbert_Pomeroy_Watson_A_Manual_of_the_Hand_Lathe_C?id=SfYJAAAAIAAJ#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDUwMSwiYm9vay1TZllKQUFBQUlBQUoiXQ..

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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