This catalogue contains the elements of the exhibition that the Château de Malmaison organised from 17 November 2018 to 10 March 2019: “Secret furniture, furniture secrets”, to celebrate the occasion of the completion of the restoration by the École Boulle of an unknown secret “secretaire” by Martin Guillaume Biennais. The exhibition is structured around this impressive piece of furniture together with about forty other objects among the furniture of Josephine’s residence, all of which reveal surprises : discreet drawers, hiding places or secret compartments.
Presentation by the publisher
Among others services that a piece of furniture can provide, hiding, protecting, storing. On the occasion of the completion of the restoration of a secret secretary by Martin Guillaume Biennais, the Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau is presenting, this unique piece of furniture and as the visitor explores the permanent exhibition rooms, some forty other pieces of furniture and objects with secrets will be revealed.
If there is one piece of furniture that was most suitable for keeping away from prying eyes – papers, bills or money – it is the item of furniture that was most in fashion in 18th century homes: the secretary, whose very name indicates its main function: to “keep a secret”.