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Secretary Desk

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Johann Gottlob Fiedler (1735-post 1818)1775BerlinOak (underlying wood), yew, amaranth, magnolia, rosewood, boxwood, beech, walnut, mahogany, sycamore, ivory (marquetry)H 232 cm; B 160 cm

This secretary desk was not just Johann Gottlieb Fiedler’s masterpiece, which earned him his master status in 1775, but also an extraordinary example of early Classicist furniture in Berlin. The surface of the tripartite writing cabinet is veneered with marquetry. The variety of colour has been achieved through the use of different types of wood, some of which have been dyed. The centre of the hinged desktop is decorated with a laurel wreath medallion, featuring a profile portrait of Friedrich II of Prussia (1712-1786) as the crowned victor, inspired by his role model from Antiquity Julius Cesar (100-44 B. C.). The sides show idyllic shepherd scenes in the style of contemporary painting. The door wings and the chest are decorated with landscapes of ancient temple ruins.