Bargueño / Vargueño with Columbus Inlay Motif and Table
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Bargueño / Vargueño with Columbus Inlay Motif and Table

Spain
19th Century
Detailing shows scenes of Columbus' discovery of the New World
Bone and tortoiseshell inlay
Cm 240 high x 175 wide x 50 deep

Large-scale 19th century Spanish bargueño (or vargueño) secretary desk with matching table, decorated with scenes of Columbus' voyage to the New World. Thirty-one detailed vingettes created in bone and tortoiseshell inlay illustrate drawer fronts showing various moments in Columbus' successful missions in establishing the New World territories. At center there are two larger portrait panels of Columbus and Spanish Queen Isabel, and two smaller, one with the royal motto "Tanto Monta" and a second featuring a small scroll listing important names associated with the New World settlements. Intricately detailed geometric and grotesque motifs decorate the borders, and the side panels of the bargueño and areas of the matching table show geometric inlay work. The finials, key plates, and metal borders are complete, and the original keys are included.

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