Reise- und Bettsekretär im Schloss Nymphenburg

Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen


Turn one into two: with one sleight of hand one piece of furniture becomes two. This secretary consists of a small dainty table and an easily removable writing desk with short legs. Originally, it was located in Munich in the so-called "Clemensschlösschen", the summer palace of Duke Clemens Franz de Paula (1722-1770) and served the almost completely paralysed duke to carry out his duties from his bed as well. Thanks to its handy size, the writing desk could be transported quite easily and, therefore, be used as travel furniture.

The secretary is decorated with elaborate geometric veneer ornamentation in rosewood and the restrained decoration is limited to the bronze shoes of the table legs and to the fitting of the lock. Inside the top of the writing desk, there are four small drawers, lined with red paper with a brocade pattern. Three more small secret drawers appear when the base of the desk is pushed back.

This type of furniture is inspired by the French table-de-lit (bed table). The construction, consisting partly of stained softwood, and the general style, however, indicate that the piece of furniture was the product of a southern German workshop. Three similarly crafted rococo tables documented in 1769 for the Electors’ bedrooms in the Munich Residence suggest that the secretary was perhaps even made in Munich.

It was not until 1818 that the secretary moved for its second use to Nymphenburg Castle.


Nina Gramüller

Rights Statement Description