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A fine, early-17th century, Spanish, walnut bargueno or vargueno-on-stand


A fine, early-17th century, Spanish, walnut bargueno or vargueno-on-stand


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Dates
1600 - 1625
Dimensions
113.00cm wide (44.49 inches wide)
153.00cm high (60.24 inches high)
46.00cm deep (18.11 inches deep)
Description / Expertise
In two parts. The walnut top retains its original pierced, wrought iron angles, mounts, lock and handles, which are of exceptional quality. As is customary today, the original red velvet has worn away from most of the flat areas of the top, although it remains inside some the ironwork panels which have protected it over time. The fitted, interior houses numerous drawers and, unusually secondary drawers below all the large drawers. The drawers display the finest, decoration of the period. Turned ivory colums and finials flank, inlaid, geometric decoration and symbolic crosses within gilded panels, decoration which was the height of grandeur in the Spanish Golden Age. Some replaced with painted decoration. They also retain their original pineapple, knobs. The stand is probably original and retains its orginal pull-out Santiago shell lopers on a walnut, ring-turned base with arcaded stretchers on sleigh feet. Exceptional original colour and patina. Spanish, first quarter of the 17th century.
Medium
Walnut
Origin
Spain
Condition
Spanish writing desks of this period are extremely rare. Those with open stands are almost always associated either with a modern stand or a marriage of different pieces. This vargueno has its original stand. Many have comparatively plain panelled interiors. The grander ones have ivory and painted decoration with influences from the Moorish artisans from North Africa. The gilding and ivory decoration and arrangement of drawers is almost entirely in original condition. To some extent these pieces of furniture are intended of as visual displays of incredible virtuosity. The decoration of the outer fall front with its metal pierced designs, locks and catches is intended to be arresting, but the real surprise is kept for the interior. Gold leaf, ivory and mother of pearl are used to embellish the drawer fronts which also contain secret compartments. This vargueno has all the features associated with those illustrated in the standard textbooks on fine, Spanish furniture of the period, notably the publication by the Hispanic Society of America entitled 'Spanish Interiors & Furniture' and a modern publication by Maria Alonso entitled 'El Mueble en Espana' and of course Feducci's famous work.
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