For most of us today, furniture doesn't get much more complicated than assembling an Ikea bookcase. But for the cabinetmakers of 18thc Europe, furniture became the highest expression of art, engineering, and ingenuity combined. This gaming table was created by the famed German cabinetmaker David Roentgen (1743-1807) for a wealthy client; furniture like this was prized by the elite classes of the Age of Enlightenment. Featured in this video from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this gaming table was not only an exquisite piece of art with beautifully carved and inlaid wood, but also a cleverly adaptable and useful piece of furniture.
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There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.