The bargueno is one of the major contribution from Spain to European furniture. Elegant cabinet adopting the structure of a chest mounted here on its original stand. Also called Vargueno from the city of Varga, near Toledo, which was the main production centre. The bargueno was the conquistadore and missionary’s favourite item of furniture to carry his administrative, diplomatic or personal belongings to the New World.
The facade and lateral sides are adorned with beautiful wrought open-worked iron ornaments against a red silk background. The panels are assembled with dovetail joints and the facade is fitted sideways, locked by a double hasp keyhole. Wrought iron handles are positioned on the lateral sides of the bargueno.
Once opened the flap stands on two bars with scallop finials and reveals fourteen drawers and and two architectural door-leaves.
The upper register presents four drawers. The knobs are shaped as scallops evoking the movable chests used by pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostella.
The middle register opens with two door-leaves and two drawers showing cross motifs flanking two superimposed drawers.
The lower register is centred by a drawer flanked on each side with two superimposed drawers presenting the same decor as the other registers.
The drawers present a geometric bone inlaid decor while the door-leaves uses the architectural vocabulary with pointed arch scrolls and four bone twisted columns framing the padlock.
With the astounding quality of the motifs and the diversity of the figures this bargueno is truly an exceptionnal piece.
The walnut H-shaped base stands on scroll feet. Four fluted balustre columns frame a double twisted column. An arched spacer with a geometric and vegetal decor links both legs.
This cabinet, nowadays very rare, is a piece of furniture typically Spanish and has never been developped in any other country. Item of great value the bargueno was both a luxury piece exposed in state rooms and a functional travel chest as expressed by the handles and impressive lock.