Antiques - Furniture
Reference: Z6811

Italian style bargueño, 18th century. Tortoiseshell, wood and gilt bronze. Uncovered sample desk made of wood, with the central part advanced and highlighted with a double chapel of architectural composition. Each of the sides has five drawers with the front decorated with tortoiseshell and an elaborate gilt bronze lock shield (two rampant lions facing each other, situated on a garland and with a crowned shield between them, in which the hole for the key). The center of the front has two levels: the lower one has four columns with entasis, two on each side and joined by an entablature and an upper finish in dark wood, and a series of golden metal elements in the center among which stands out, sheltered under a semicircular arch, the figure of Hercules fighting against Cacus (the giant who terrorized the Palatine Hill before the founding of Rome); The upper one has moldings forming recesses, with an important heraldic shield in the center, all enhanced with scrolls towards the sides, and different elements in gold metal, of classicist inspiration. The general scheme of the furniture responds to a model that was very widespread and valued in 17th century Europe, of which the best examples have been, as a general rule, those of Italian manufacture, and which continued in the 18th century without breaking the compositional clarity of which is displayed on this front but changing slight decorative details and elements in the area of the central chapel, above all. The practice of using tortoiseshell plates in furniture resurfaced in Europe during the 17th century. The high price and great demand for sea turtle shell furniture are explained by the scarcity of the material, which had to be imported (normally from Central America) and that, for its work, a highly specialized workforce was required. As is normal for this type of furniture, also called “trash cans” because they contain important documents, the tortoiseshell plates were often highlighted with decorations in gilded metal, the use of bronze being very normal for this.

· Size: 69x137x160 cms.

15.000 €

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