Antiques - Miscellaneous / Other Objects
Reference: ZE261

Bronze pharmacy mortar. Signed and dated (Bargas, 1711).
It has an excavated mouth, a truncated conical body with a slight inversion and a base highlighted by a flat molding that does not protrude from the mortar profile. The decoration is located at the front of the work, and consists of a band of balusters with plant motifs between each two and dolphin sculptures on top of it; it is necessary to highlight the inscription of the upper part ("Bargas me fecit, 1711") for containing the name of the smelter and the date.
The decoration of this work is not usual. On the one hand, balusters speak of the influence of the Baroque, while dolphins would belong more to the Neoclassical tradition that is introduced in Spanish art in the eighteenth century.
However, in this case the inscription provides the name of the master responsible for the mortar and the exact date of its smelting. Compare the present example with several of the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Madrid (the CE06812 presents simple balusters and handles; the CE02620 maintains the motif of ribs heir of the Middle Ages, in combination with female busts in high relief). No similar example has been found with dolphins, but European mortars (Renaissance and later Italians ...) have been preserved with applied sculptural motifs.
Copies of this size and decoration would have been created to highlight the economic potential of its owner, most likely for use in an apothecary. Examples as outstanding as this mortar are only preserved in pharmacies of great tradition, such as that of the Royal Palace of Madrid, and in related institutions (Museum of Hispanic Pharmacy of the Complutense University, Madrid)."

· Size: 39x39x31 cms.

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