Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

Extravagant furniture with secret panels, doors, and drawers

If you’ve ever wanted a cabinet with secret compartments — and we’re talking about a lot of secret compartments here — then you’re going to like videos from the Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens exhibit that was at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 30, 2012–January 27, 2013).

One of the finest achievements of European furniture making, this cabinet is the most important product from Abraham (1711—1793) and David Roentgen‘s (1743—1807) workshop. A writing cabinet crowned with a chiming clock, it features finely designed marquetry panels and elaborate mechanisms that allow for doors and drawers to be opened automatically at the touch of a button. Owned by King Frederick William II, the Berlin cabinet is uniquely remarkable for its ornate decoration, mechanical complexity, and sheer size.

In addition to the Secretary Cabinet above, there’s also a writing desk, and a rolltop desk to explore:


Next: How do locks work?

🌈 Related videos

Modular, self-assembling robots from EPFL and MIT

Rion Nakaya

Bend-testing laser-cut plywood hinge patterns

Rion Nakaya

The Gravity Stool: Manipulating magnetism to shape furniture

Rion Nakaya

Bouquet, a device that translates colors into fragrances

Rion Nakaya

A sonata played on the earliest known surviving piano

Rion Nakaya

What’s an Engineer? + The Engineering Process – Crash Course Kids

Rion Nakaya

Weaving a charpai bed

Rion Nakaya

Inventors Portrait: Ernest Nussbaum, inventor of the Practicello

Rion Nakaya

Repairing a Meissen Lion + King Augustus the Strong’s Menagerie

Rion Nakaya

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe