Explore Jean-Henri Riesener and his furniture
Here you can find information about one of the eighteenth century’s most celebrated furniture-makers, Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806).
The Wallace Collection has one of the most important holdings of Riesener furniture in the world and this site provides information about his life, his work for the royal French court and his patrons. Most importantly, it examines the furniture at the Wallace Collection, revealing insights into his working methods, the materials he used and the cabinetmaking techniques he employed.
The results of a recently completed five-year research project on Riesener, in collaboration with the Royal Collection and Waddesdon Manor, have given us new insights. This research is introduced throughout this site. Richly illustrated with new high-resolution photography and digital content, the Riesener site allows you to explore the stories of Riesener’s life, his furniture, his craft and his legacy.
We are very grateful to all of the generous donors who supported the Riesener Project, in particular The NJT Foundation and The Leverhulme Trust, who supported the project from its inception.
Shortlisted in the 'Digital innovation of the Year' category of the 2021 Apollo Awards.
From arriving in Paris as a German immigrant, to being appointed cabinetmaker to Louis XVI and his court, discover more about Riesener’s fascinating career as a furniture-maker, and the legacy he left behind.
Each piece of Riesener furniture at the Wallace Collection has a tale to tell. Discover more about these masterpieces and what they tell us about Riesener, his workshop and his patrons.
The Designs, Materials and Techniques
Riesener’s ingenuity as a cabinetmaker meant that he made furniture fit for a king and a queen. Take a closer look at some of the designs, materials and techniques he used to create his masterpieces.
Being a man of great wealth and taste meant that the 4th Marquess of Hertford, one of the founders of the Wallace Collection, only acquired the very finest artworks, including furniture by Riesener. For him, Riesener’s furniture held a particular allure.
The Riesener Project
An unprecedented initiative, the Riesener Project has taken furniture history in many exciting new directions. We have documented the methodology behind the Project, and the outcomes it has produced.