Chest with Matching Stand (Caja con bufete a juego)

* Nearly 20,000 images of artworks the museum believes to be in the public domain are available to download on this site. Other images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. By using any of these images you agree to LACMA's Terms of Use.

Chest with Matching Stand (Caja con bufete a juego)

Guatemala (for export market, possibly Peru), 18th century
Furnishings; Furniture
Wood, inlaid with tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, and ivory; mirror glass; and iron
Chest: 14 9/16 × 24 3/8 × 14 3/8 in. (37 × 61.9 × 36.5 cm); stand: 19 11/16 × 18 × 29 5/16 in. (50 × 45.7 × 74.5 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by the Bernard and Edith Lewin Collection of Mexican Art Deaccession Fund (M.2009.121a-b)
Not currently on public view

Provenance

Private collection, Mexico, early 20th century; Carmen Argudo, Madrid, c....
Private collection, Mexico, early 20th century; Carmen Argudo, Madrid, c. 1900; by inheritance to her sister Julia de Benítez, Madrid; by inheritance to her daughter María Segovia, Madrid; Etienne Breton, Saint Honoré Art Consulting, Paris, 2009; LACMA, 2009.
More...

Label

Spanish American furnishings veneered in tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl designs are known as enconchados.

...

Spanish American furnishings veneered in tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl designs are known as enconchados. The term derives from the application of small sheets of mother-of-pearl (concha de perla) on wooden surfaces. Because of their materials and decorative schemes, the works have been slippery to categorize. Scholars have suggested that they were imported aboard the famous Manila Galleons that traveled annually to the port of Acapulco in Mexico, from where the objects were distributed throughout Spanish America. Some experts have argued that their profusion in Lima suggests local manufacture, possibly with the involvement of Asian artisans. Archival and material documentation, however, seems to suggests that the works originated in Guatemala City, where mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell were harvested locally and considered a prized commodity. Many works made of these materials were exported to Mexico and Peru. The designs draw on a range of European and Asian sources, which local artists creatively reinterpreted.


From exhibition Archive of the World, 2022 (for more information see the catalogue entry by Ilona Katzew in the accompanying publication, cat. no. 69, pp. 275–83)
More...

Bibliography

  • Katzew, Ilona, ed. Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800: Highlights from LACMA’s Collection. Exh. Cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York: DelMonico Books/D.A.P., 2022.

Exhibition history

  • Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800*** Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 12, 2022 - October 30, 2022
  • Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800*** Nashville, TN, Frist Art Museum, October 20, 2023 - January 28, 2024