TABLE AND ITALIAN “BARGUEÑO” (WRITING DESK) IN WALNUT AND “PALOSANTO” WOOD, TORTOISESHELL, BRONZE AND GILT BRONZE. 17TH CENTURY.

Antiques - Furniture
Reference: Z6333

Italian desk in tortoiseshell, wood and gilded bronze, rosewood, lemongrass and iron catches. XVII century. Table with walnut top,
Discovered sample desk located on eight claws with ball and with two handles on the sides. The front presents the central part advanced, with chapel; four rectangular drawers to the sides of it; The work is completed by a corridor decorated with vegetal scrolls topped by eight children's figures and an eagle crowned on an orb above the central crown. The buffet or table that supports and highlights the bargueñera is turned legs secured by lower chambranas (also turned and central die) to each other, and fixed to the top of the cabinet thanks to curved metal fasteners with disc in the center; the upper table has a geometric decoration inlaid with dark wood on light wood.
The general scheme of the furniture responds to models known and used in cabinetmaking throughout Europe throughout the seventeenth century of which the best examples are considered of Italian origin, such as the present. Thus, its decorative elements belong to the same tradition: the legs carved in the shape of a bird's claw synthesized on a ball are very typical of the century; the lateral ones are flatter and simpler (geometric marquetry around the molding and the bronze-colored handles concentrate all the decoration, vegetal); etc.
As usual in baroque desks, the center of the show is where the decoration is concentrated, made of areas in tortoiseshell with a gold background and highlighted by external moldings in darker wood, decorated by inlaid circles, always keeping the symmetry The chapel follows an architectural composition: lower basement highlighted, like the rest, with gilt bronze sconces; facade between four columns with éntasis and a niche in the center with Athena, goddess of wisdom in classical mythology; the top finish invades this last central space, providing movement. When opening the door that closes it, six small drawers are discovered on the sides and two larger ones up and down, flanking all of them an interior space of columns, semicircular arches and checkered floor that simulates much more the spectator through a theatrical game with mirrors.
This general scheme is very common throughout the European Baroque, and its compositional clarity would not be broken until the Rococo in the seventeenth century. In Spain, the typology of the present desk coexisted with that of the bargueño, preferring these types for their greater decorative richness and in the materials used. The classic elements of which it makes gala respond to that classic tradition, stronger in the Italian territory that in the Hispanic furniture.
The practice of using tortoiseshell plates in furniture resurfaced in Europe during the seventeenth century. The high price and high demand for furniture with sea turtle shell can be explained by the scarcity of material, which was essential to import (usually from Central America) and that, for their work, a highly specialized workforce was required."


· Size: 130x48x115 cms.

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