ITALIAN STYLE “BARGUEÑO”, TORTOISESHELL AND WOOD, 18TH CENTURY.

Antiques - Furniture
Reference: Z6811

Italian style bargueño, 18th century.
Carey, wood and gilt bronze.
Open 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 hawksbill and an elaborate golden bronze lock shield (two rampant lions facing each other, placed on a garland and with a shield crowned between them, in which the hollow of the key). The center of the front has two levels: the lower one has four columns with a stasis, two on each side and joined by an entablature and a top top in dark wood, and a series of elements in gold metal in the center, among which it stands out, sheltered under a semicircular arch, the figure of Hercules fighting Caco (the giant who terrorized the Palatine Hill before the foundation of Rome); the upper one has moldings forming a few holes, with an important heraldic shield in the center, all enhanced with volutes towards the sides, and different elements in golden metal, of classicist inspiration.
The general scheme of the furniture responds to a very widespread and valued model in seventeenth-century Europe of which the best examples have been, as a rule, those of Italian manufacture, and which is continued in the eighteenth century without breaking the compositional clarity of which shows on this front but changing light decorative details and elements in the area of the central chapel, especially.
The practice of using hawksbill plates in furniture resurfaced in Europe during the 17th century. The high price and the high demand for furniture with sea turtle shell are explained by the shortage of the material, which was essential to import it (usually from Central America) and that, for their work, a highly specialized workforce was required. As is normal for this type of furniture, also called “wastebaskets” for containing important documents, hawksbill plates were often highlighted with decorations in gilt metal, the use of bronze for this being very normal."


· Size: 69x137x160 cms.

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