The bargueno is one of the most original contribution of Spain to European furniture. It is also spelled vargueno after the city of Varga near Toledo where was the main production center. It was a luxury piece of furniture displayed open in palaces’ state rooms and could also be used during travels as seen with the wrought-iron handles. The lock allowed precious items and important documents to be safely stored within.
It stands on an H base supported by two scroll runners. Four tapered grooved columns stands at the corners flanking a large double twisted column. A crossbar with arcature and geometrical frieze links both sides.
The bargueno’s panels are dovetailed and the facade is secured with lateral sockets. It closes with a double hasps lock ornated with a delicately shield shaped plate and nine open-worked iron plates on a red velvet background ;
The lid can be used as a desk and stays open thanks to two supports ending as a shell. The open lid reveals twelve drawers and a central door-leaf. All of those sylistically intricate elements are enriched with ivory plates embellished with painted floral decors, gilt wood and small ivory twisted columns upon a carved chevron backrgound. The drawers’ knobs are shaped as scallops.
The numerous drawers and door-leaves of this bargueno are divided in three registers. The lower ones and upper ones present a serie of three drawers while the middle one shows six drawers divided three on three flanking the central door.
The central door is ornated following architectural principles. A portico with a broken pediment with scrolls framed by twisted columns. It hides seven additional drawers ornated with painted flowers.
This bargueno truly is an exceptional piece with the quality of the motifs and the diversity of figure.