The history behind the Hermitage table

Eremitageslottet, 2010
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In 1694, Christian V built a timber frame, two-story house in Deer Park. In 1734, that house was torn down, after which the royal architect Lauritz de Thurah built the existing hunting seat on the hilltop in the middle of the plain during the period 1734-36.

In the cellar, the kitchen is placed centrally under the dining room, and that gave master joiner Johan Jeremias Reusse the opportunity to add to the space a very special table.
Namely, Reusse in 1736 set up a table machine, a mechanical device with table and accessories. This is the famous Hermitage table. A hoisting device allowed the well-set table to be raised from and, afterwards, lowered to the underlying kitchen through a hatch in the dining room’s floor so that dining could take place without servants, or – in French – “en hermitage”.

A few years later, at the order of Eigtved, a new table machine was constructed. That device was removed at the end of the 1700s.

Published February 25, 2013

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