Berlin Secretary Cabinet


One of the finest achievements of European furniture making, this cabinet is the most important product from Abraham and David Roentgen’s 18th-century 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.

The famous Berlin Secretary Cabinet, likely the most expensive piece of furniture in eighteenth-century Europe, which was made on speculation for King Frederick William II of Prussia. Today a national treasure of Germany, the cabinet was celebrated in its time as an ingenious technical invention as well as a magnificent work of art. The cabinet is from the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin, and was displayed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for over two years.


Produced for The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens in 2012.

Custom interactive video player app running on iPad; video also available online, where it has received millions of views after going viral on Reddit.

Directors: Paco Link and Chris Noey
Producer: Rachel Rothbaum
Video editor: Sarah Cowan
Production coordinator: Staci Hou