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Slant-Front Desk

A work made of marquetry with maple, amaranth, mahogany, and walnut on spruce and oak.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marquetry with maple, amaranth, mahogany, and walnut on spruce and oak.


c. 1720


Attributed to Heinrich Ludwig Rohde (German, 1683–1755) or Ferdinand Plitzner (German, 1678–1724)
Germany, Mainz

About this artwork

German cabinetmaker Heinrich Ludwig Rohde worked in Mainz, a prosperous university town on the Rhine River. As court cabinetmaker to Elector Lothar Franz Schönborn, Archbishop of Mainz and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Rohde was responsible for much of the decoration at the Schönborn’s sumptuous palace at Pommersfelden, from the marquetry floors and mirrored cabinets to the porcelain-decorated rooms.

The marquetry incorporates varieties of wood that would have been readily available in Germany, like maple, walnut, spruce, and oak, as well as costly imported materials like mahogany and amaranth. They are finely pieced together in geometric and naturalistic patterns; at the center of the fall front is a salamander, a creature able reputed by myth to be invulnerable to fire. An unusual motif, it probably held some kind of significance for the desk’s original owner.

— About This Object, European Decorative Arts LaunchPad app


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Heinrich Ludwig Rohde


Slant-Front Desk


Germany (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1715–1725


Marquetry with maple, amaranth, mahogany, and walnut on spruce and oak


90.2 × 84.5 × 46.1 cm (35 1/2 × 33 1/4 × 18 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Kathryn Gilbertson, Kay and Frederick Krehbiel, Doris and Stanford Marks, Mrs. Eric Oldberg, Harry Root, and Melinda and Paul Sullivan; through prior acquisition of Robert Allerton; European Decorative Arts Purchase Fund

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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