Table lectern. Vienna(?), early 18th century


Table lectern resting on a circular base and supported by a central shaft, into which the height adjustment rod is inserted, with a mechanical adjustment to tilt the brass lectern and blued steel parts, as well as the score holder on the front. It is entirely decorated with the “Boulle” technique: the conifer wood structure is entirely inlaid, on the front, base and trunk, in brass and tin alloy, on a heather briar background. The back is veneered in dark wood, with brass threads.

Dimensions: 39 (max) x 28 cm


Historical-stylistic analysis:

As Simone Chiarugi explains in his expertise the lectern is unique in its kind, probably made for a special commission. The inlaid decorative motifs allow the work to be dated to the beginning of the 18th century.
They recall the well-known engravings of Jean Bérain and the lesser-known ones of Pierre Bordon, published in Paris around 1703. Certainly more pertinent to our lectern are the series of etchings published in Nuremberg by Paul Decker the younger. Comparisons are possible with other artefacts whose creation must be limited to southern Germany, such as a pair of torch holders belonging to the Liechtenstein Collection or a casket (recently auctioned) signed by the cabinetmaker Johann Puchwiser, active in Munich. For these possible comparisons, we believe that the creation of our lectern should also be attributed to a German-speaking cabinetmaker, perhaps active in Munich or Vienna.
It is interesting to point out that, in addition to being a decorative object, the lectern must also have been used for its original function, as some small point-like depressions in the central area show. There is even a sign of the tapping of a stick, to point out on the musical score.

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