GAME TABLE DEDICATED TO THE KING’s GAME ROOM IN VERSAILLES
Made by Jean-Henri Riesener in 1774
The current decoration of the Games Room in Versailles has been known since 1775. In 1774, Louis XVI decided to dedicate this room to the Games in order to replace the Louis XIV's Games Room that was turned into a library. Previously, this room was known as the "Louis XIV's Cabinet of Curiosities and Rarities" ; then in 1753, it was used as "Antechambre" for Madame Adelaïde and in 1769, as a dining-room for the Ladies.
In 1776, an inventory of the furniture of the Games Room was made in Versailles. The Games Tables no 4257 made in wild-cherry tree delivered by Gilles Joubert were placed by Louis the 16th in 1769, for Louis XV Games lounge suite as well as the seats no 4254 made by the Foliots, damascered steel, green, white and yellow, delivered by Capin and dedicated to the King’s new rooms.
The seats in the King’s lounge are replaced by a new model designed by Gondouin and manufactured by Foliot. The no 2807, the four corners of marqueterie delivered by Riesener in 1775 have found again the place they used to occupy.
In the inventory made in 1785, Louis XV's new furniture is noted : the seats n° 4425 sumptuously moulded manufactured in 1774 by the Foliot for the Games Room, also called Room of the Clock, was considered as out-of-date, and replaced in 1785 by moulded seats in a pure style Louis XVI, damascered steel , brocade, gold threats, the no 133 delivered by Jean-Baptiste Boulard, some of these seats also have found again the place they used to occupy in the Games room.
The no 4400 shows seven quadrille tables, one of them with no number. This Games table is made in speckled magohany with perfect dimensions and with a long parchment under the framework that indicates its date and its famous origin. This table was part of Riesener’s new furniture type, amongst those that he decided not to stamp as his privilege of cabinet-maker of the King authorized him. Du 21 (septembre 1774). Riesener pour servir dans le salon des jeux du Roy à Versailles six tables de quadrilles en bois d'acajou massif, le dessus pliant en deux, les pieds à coulisse, couverte en plein de velours vert.
Le mémoire de Riesener: ordre du 24 9br Livré le 7 et le 15 Xbre pour le service du garde meuble du Roy au chateau de Versailles : pour la salle de jeux, six tables de cadrilles en bois des ÿndes les pieds en forme des guëne ajusté en coulifse, le dessus ploÿant et couvert en plin, du velours vert qui ma été fourni, le tous d'acajjoux masif et bien moucheté le plus beau choisy pour ce 168 chacune valent le six la somme de 1008 L.
The inventory and estimation of the furniture made in 1785 in the Chateau de Versailles is concise regarding this table. It is noted by the “Garde-Meuble” service only three tables cadrilles in speckled mahogany instead of the seven noted in the inventory made in 1776 : three folding tables Cadrilles in speckled Indian mahogany covered with green velvet, decorated with “Chaussons de Bronze” in gold colour, their size is 3 feet 8 inches square and 28 inches high. The sizes are indicated as well as the estimation made by Claude François Capin, usual tapestry-worker at the “Garde Meuble” service, that delivered the green velvet to Riesener.
No 4400 : in the Garde-Meuble service newspaper, Capin noted the sizes in inches of six tables dedicated to the King’s service in Versailles : six folding tables made of mahogany covered with green velvet, decorated with brass sabot in colour, size 32 inches square and 28 high.
At the beginning of 1775, Riesener will furnish for the King’s “Garde-Meuble” service three extra tables in mahogany ; however, Riesener in his memorandum never described them as made in speckled mahogany ; it seems therefore that they were made in plain mahogany.
Ordre du 18 février: Livré le 13 mars pour le service du garde-meuble du roy trois tables de jeux dont deux de quadrilles, en bois des ÿndes d'acajou massif, garni de velours qui ma été fourni,orné de sabots de cuivre en couleur d'or, les dessus ployante en deux parties, les pieds ajustés en coulisse pour le soutenir, pour ce 148 chacune valent les deux, la somme de........296 une de Brelan ronde de même bois, des ÿndes d'acajou massif, avec une cage dans le milieu, pour posé les chandeliers, Le pied ajusté en coulisse pour soutenir le dessus orné de sabot de cuivre, en couleur d'or, Pour la somme de.........192
Ordre du 26 avril: Livré le 11 mai pour le service du garde meuble de la couronne une table de quadrille et deux tables de try en bois des indes d'acajou massif couvert de velour vert qui ma été fourni le dessus pliant en deux parties les pieds ajusté en coulisse pour le soutenir pour ce 145 livré chacune valent les trois la somme de.....435.
Riesener has delivered nine tables in all for the King’s Game Room. Some of these tables have been reserved in the “Garde-Meuble” and used only for the High Parties held by the King in Versailles.
Riesener noted also in his memorandum another circular table (made by Brelan) in speckled mahogany delivered in May 1775 for the Games Room at Versailles.
Our table is also decorated with moulding in the traverses, with copper sticks. It seems that Riesener made every Games table with mouldings, all decorated with brass sticks.
In the Inventory of the Royal Family furniture made in 1792, it is still noted three quadrille folding tables made in Indian speckled mahogany, velvet covered, feet decorated with a bronze shoe in gold colour, sized 3 end 8 inches square, 28 inches high from 100 ….. 300.
This table will have no exception to the auction ; the revolutionary sales will for a most part spread the Crown’s furniture. From September 1793 to August 1794, the sales list briefly indicates some quadrille tables made in mahogany, and it happens sometimes that the type of wood is not even indicated.
Here below, is the description of some furniture that is very similar to our table. The number 2383 from the Garde-Meuble is a quadrille table, green velvet covered, sold for 85 pounds to the citizen Chauffour ; the number 3469 is a table similar to the above, sold to the citizen Colignon for 40 pounds; the number 3488 is a quadrille table in mahogany, green velvet covered, sold to the citizen Lesueur for 38 pounds ; the number 3508 is another table, in mahogany, similar to the others described below, sold for 60 pounds to the citizen Gillet.
01 32-84 ordre du Garde-Meuble.
01 33-19 le journal du Garde-Meuble de la Couronne.
01 36-24 mémoire de riesener.
01 34-57 inventaire des meubles et estimation du château de versailles en 1776.
01 34-61 inventaire des meubles et estimation du château de versailles 1785.
01 34-63 inventaire général des meubles du château de versailles en 1788.
01 33-55 inventaire général des meubles de la famille royalle en 1792.
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