A Closer Look: Spotlight on French Royal Furniture by Riesener

Riesener French royal furniture exhibition at Waddesdon

From 23 March-23 October 2016 on display in the White Drawing room we have three extraordinary chests of drawers by court cabinet maker Jean-Henri Riesener. This exhibition allows you to look closely at these amazing pieces of furniture, learning about their technical design and construction. The is a past exhibition. New exhibitions open from Wed 22 March 2017.

Jean-Henri Riesener, renowned 18th-century court cabinetmaker

Who was Jean-Henri Riesener?

Born in Germany in 1734, Riesener was perhaps the most celebrated cabinetmaker of the 18th-century, the official cabinetmaker to King Louis XVI and the favourite of Queen Marie-Antoinette.

Did you know?

  • two of the Riesener chest of drawers actually belonged to the French royal family
  • the chests of drawers on display are among twelve pieces of furniture now at Waddesdon that were originally at the Palace of Versailles.
  • the chest of drawers - or commode - emerged as a type of furniture in France around 1690

Deconstructing a chest of drawers

Take a look at this 3D animation which deconstructs a Jean-Henri Riesener chest of drawers, allowing you to see how it was originally pieced together.

A collaboration

This whole display marks the start of a collaboration with the Wallace Collection and the Royal Collection Trust, who both have significant furniture collections by Jean-Henri Riesener.

Discover more about the Riesener furniture at the Wallace Collection

Learn about Risener furniture in the Royal Collection