Inlaid with geometric stars overall, the doors with later painted panels to the reverse, Follower of François Boucher, first half 18th century, enclosing an arrangement of seventeen similarly inlaid drawers and a secret compartment, the reverse with rosewood trellis parquetry, the stand with tapering square legs
581⁄4 in. (148 cm.) high; 411⁄2 in. (105.5 cm.) wide; 201⁄2 in. (52 cm.) deep, overall
Almost certainly acquired by David Guardi Ker (1779-1844), for Montalto, Co. Down, and thence by descent until sold,
Christie's, South Kensington, 5 November 2015, lot 109 (££47,500 inc. premium).
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The conquest of Latin America, attempts to convert indigenous people to Catholicism, and the development of vast territories presented an unprecedented challenge to European authorities and the Church. The abundant natural resources of the newly discovered land financed the European's monumental enterprise and created favourable conditions for the development of industrial arts in the European style.
From the beginning European artists established themselves in the new settlements and began producing household goods and furniture. In many cases joiners came to Latin America as part of a ship’s crew, and as a result joinery was one of the first trades to be practised. They followed European methods and customs and established guilds modelled on those of Spain and Portugal. In Mexico, the master joiners guild was given its first ordinance in 1548.
European furniture was logistically difficult to import, expensive and vulnerable to tropical insects. These factors stimulated the development of workshops capable of meeting local demand. Indigenous workers were frequently employed and placed under the guidance of master craftsmen, most of whom were educated and trained in Europe. The marquetry of contrasting woods, the inlays of tortoiseshell and the bone motifs of Spanish Colonial furniture were undoubtedly influenced by the decorative repertoire of Mudéjar art which employs eight pointed stars in geometric patterns arranged across flat surfaces.
Post Lot Text
This lot incorporates material from endangered species which could result in export restrictions. Several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, please check the relevant customs laws before bidding on this lot if you intend to import this lot into another country. Please see the Conditions of Sale for further information.
Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
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