A Salamanca-type walnut, iron and bone-inlaid vargueno cabinet on chest.
The characteristic decoration of the outer fall front of this vargueno with its metal pierced mounts over red velvet, locks and catches is arresting and the interior displays the finest, decoration of the period. Carved and gilded architectural features, turned bone colums and finials flank, painted geometric decoration within carved and gilded panels; decoration which was the height of grandeur in the Spanish Golden Age.
It stands on its original closed "taquillón" foot, with two two drawers and two front doors carved in rhomboid format, with geometric decorations and central lock shields also with wrought iron plates applied on cloth. This lower body is raised on four legs and also presents lateral arcuate handles. At the top has two clamps, with a "mascarón" head, which extend to serve as a base to the lid once opened.
'Varguenos have the simplicity, rigid regularity, and austere dignity that have always appealed to Spanish taste in furniture. . . When open, the effect is one of flamboyant splendor . . . like Moorish artesonados . . .'; see Grace Hardendorff Burr, former Curator of Furniture of the Hispanic Society of America.
This vargueno has all the features associated with those illustrated in the standard textbooks on Fine, Spanish furniture of the period which are largely from museum collections, notably the publication by the Hispanic Society of America entitled 'Spanish Interiors & Furniture' and a modern publication by Maria Alonso entitled 'El Mueble en Espana' and Feducci's ‘El Mueble Espanol’.
Hispanic Furniture, New York: The Archive Press, 1964, pp. 42-46. Burr, op. cit., illustrates related varguenos at the Hispanic Society, pp. 141-158.
Western Furniture 1350 to the Present Day in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, C. Wilk, ed., New York: Cross River Press, pp. 54-55, figs. 1-2
Mª Paz Aguiló Alonso, (Ministerio de Economia y Empresa, 2018) [bilingual edition], pp.49-54, and El mueble en España, M. Paz Aguiló Alonso, (Madrid: Ediciones Antiqvaría, 1993), pp. 107-10