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Lot 87 - Lower part of an "enconchado" cupboard. The interior is made of red cedarwood and [...]

Estimation : 18 000 € / 22 000 €

Adjugé 53 500 €


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Lower part of an "enconchado" cupboard. The interior is made of red cedarwood and the exterior is covered in tortoiseshell, mother of pearl and ebony. Colonial School. Mexico or Peru. 18th century

133 x 117 x 65 cm.

Important example of Peruvian “enconchado” furniture. As is habitual, it is completely covered in mother of pearl and tortoiseshell decoration, forming a type of flower and some geometric motifs which have been skillfully made very similar to each other.

There are examples that can be used as a reference for the cataloguing of this piece in:

The Convent of Buena Muerte in Lima, where a complete cupboard is kept, in the Pedro de Osma Museum in Lima, where there is a magnificent example, and in the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, where there is a magnificent desk with cabinet.

With regard to the origin of this type of furniture, which has the same origin and decoration as this one, it is very interesting to read the article by Professor Gustavo Curiel, published in the Mexican Institute of aesthetic research magazine "Imágenes", (http://www.esteticas.unam.mx/revista_imagenes/imago/ima_curiel05.html) about the analysis of a magnificent dresser which is kept at the Meadows Museum in Dallas :

“With regard to the place where this furniture originated (characterised by rich tortoiseshell inlay, mother of pearl and silver thread) it has been repeated, without any kind of foundation, that this type of furniture was made in Mexico City, in the Philippines, on the Indo-Portuguese coast and in continental Asia. Recently, Jorge Ribas has confirmed, after meticulous study and many comparisons, that this type of furniture was made in the Viceroyalty of Peru. This very singular style of production of alt-luxury furniture continued until the 19th century. On the other hand, the evident Asian influence on the decoration of the dresser should be highlighted. There are Korean flowers and other elements derived from the repertoire of Asiatic ornamentation.”

The quoted article by Professor Curiel continues: “In the decoration we can make out shapes that are reminiscent of Korean flowers, that Jorge F. Ribas has related to lacquered Korean pieces of the Joseon Dynasty. These same floral motifs are present on inlaid boxes and are, one can affirm, the “signature” of one particular workshop’s creations, which indicates that there was heavy activity in the workshop which managed to make these distinctive decorative forms which have endured over time.” Jorge Rivas, who Professor Curiel alludes to in his text, is currently the curator at the Frederick and Jan Mayer Center at the Denver Art Museum, and head of the Latin American Art department.

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