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Wednesday, May 31 • 8:30am - 9:00am
(Wooden Artifacts) Count Lamberg’s Roman Table in The Rijksmuseum

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In 2016 the Rijksmuseum accessioned a unique Roman baroque table. The coat of arms of Count Leopold Joseph von Lamberg (1654–1706), the ambassador to the Court of St. Peter at the Vatican between 1700 and 1705, is virtually ceremoniously staged above a cartouche with a trophy carried by the convoluted stretcher. The table has exuberantly carved legs with a complex arrangement of overlapping C- and S-scrolls, and supports a green verde antico marble top. It is embellished with accentuating and intricate gilt-bronze mounts in place of the more commonly used raised gesso gilding. Being a unique example for its time, the table is recognizably related to designs by Filippo Passarini from the late 17th century and Carlo Fontana from the early 18th century, while the carcass with its facades of false drawer fronts appears to be more old fashioned. A late 17th century pietre dure silver cabinet made by Filippo Schor, Franz I and Dominikus Steinhart for Palazzo Colonna in Rome provides a further link, as it bears striking resemblances in its carving and applied mounts.

The unusual joinery of the center table very much reflects the work of a sculptor rather than a cabinet-maker, utilizing small tenons and threaded bolts for its joinery. The table is executed in deeply carved pear and is stained to imitate a darker wood. Its somewhat lopsided overall appearance originates in twisted and warped components resulting from the use of timbers for the construction that possibly were not fully seasoned. This has contributed to the overall instability of the center table.

Research into the table's gilt mounts revealed the use of a unique type of copper alloy which differs distinctly from the set alloy standard used in Paris, and which were replicated later in England and Germany. Select mounts that have gone missing seem to have been cast from the original ones.

Based on the joineries geometrical arrangement and a systematical trial series, an optically and structurally more favorable leg-stretcher configuration could be determined. As the table remained somewhat lopsided, various possibilities such as repositioning the bolts versus a replacement with modified hardware were discussed. The implementation of several structural modifications, without compromising original substance, proved crucial to maintain the tables stability and re-establish its proud appearance and optical symmetry.

Speaker(s)
avatar for Jan Dorscheid

Jan Dorscheid

Junior Conservator of Furniture, Rijksmuseum
Jan Dorscheid has been the Junior Conservator of Furniture at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam since October 2015. Jan studied Conservation and Restoration of Wooden Artefacts at the University of Applied Science in Potsdam, Germany, after a three-year apprenticeship as a cabinetmake... Read More →

Co-Author(s)
avatar for Arie Pappot

Arie Pappot

Promovendus Metal Conservation, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Arie Pappot was trained as a conservator of metals and received his Master degree at the University of Amsterdam in 2011. He worked as a metals conservator at the Rijksmuseum from 2009 to 2013, when he started his PhD which deals with the technological history of copper and its a... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 8:30am - 9:00am
Acapulco Ballroom Level, West Tower

Attendees (38)