David Roentgen (1743 in Herrnhaag – February 12, 1807), was a famous German cabinetmaker of the eighteenth century, famed throughout Europe for his marquetry and his secret drawers and poes and mechanical fittings. His work embraces the late Rococo and the Neoclassical styles.
According to his biography in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition of 1911, Roentgen was not a great cabinetmaker: "His forms were often clumsy, ungraceful, and commonplace; his furniture lacked the artistry of the French and the English cabinetmakers of the great period which came to an end about 1790. His bronzes were poor in design and coarse in execution; his work, in short, is tainted by commercialism. As an inlayer, however, he holds a position of high distinction. His marquetry is bolder and more vigorous than that of Riesener, who in other respects soared far above him. As an adroit devisor of mechanism he fully earned a reputation which former generations rated more highly than the modern critic, with his facilities for comparison, is prepared to accept. On the mechanical side he produced, with the help of Kintzing, many long-cased and other clocks with ingenious indicating and registering apparatus. Roentgen delighted in architectural forms, and his marquetry more often than not represents those scenes from classical mythology which were the dear delight of the 18th century." He is well represented at the V&A Museum in London, and other collections.
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