Past Exhibition: Martin Carlin

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Martin Carlin's Mechanical Table
April 30, 2002 to August 18, 2002
Photograph of small eighteenth century writing table made of oak and maple, decorated with plaques of porcelain and gilt bronze.

A vogue for furniture featuring secret compartments and complex mechanical devices swept France during the eighteenth century. Featured in the Cabinet was a mechanical reading and writing table with Sèvres porcelain plaques, attributed to Martin Carlin (c. 1730–85), a German-born cabinetmaker who worked in Paris and created furniture for such notables as Madame Du Barry and the daughters of Louis XV. Normally exhibited in the Fragonard Room in closed position, the table was displayed partially open, and photographs revealed the mechanisms that make possible its moving parts.

Martin Carlin, French, Eighteenth Century, Mechanical Table, ca. 1780, oak veneered with maple; plaques of soft-paste porcelain; gilt bronze, The Frick Collection.

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