Lot 86
  • 86

A rare Spanish iron-mounted bone inlaid painted and parcel-gilt walnut vargueño on stand mid 17th century

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • bone and walnut
  • Vargueño: 72.5cm high, 111.5cm wide 41.5cm deep, 2ft. 4 ½in., 3ft. 8in., 1ft. 4¼in.; stand 80cm high, 114cm wide, 45cm deep; 2ft. 7½in, 3ft. 9in., 1ft. 5¾.
with an iron handle on each side;regilt

Catalogue Note

It is rare to find a vargueño on its original stand as on the present example as most are now on without their stands or on later stands.

The escritorio later called vargueño derives from the Catalan hembra, a bridal chest which had two large doors at the front each concealing a series of drawers. The escritorio was used not only as a writing desk but also for storage of papers and implements. In the early 16th century they were inlaid with hispano-moresque geometrical motifs in bone, in a style known as mudéjar. As Spanish craftsmen became more familiar with Classical architecture and ornament as a result of the translation of Sebastian Serlio's, L'Archittetura (1552), the inside of these escritorio were decorated with classical ornament and they were also gilded and in bright colours with the bone decorated with Indian ink.

The inside of this escritorio is architectural wih Baroque aedicules (framed openings flanked by columns, supporting a broken pediment). It is also lavishly decorated on the outside with iron decoration and locks on a velvet ground. They became known as vargueños from around 1870.

A related vargueño on its original stand was sold in these Rooms, Haute Epoque sale, 29th October 2008, lot 182.