Floris van Wanroij Fine Art

A Papillero Vargueno

A Papillero Vargueno

Baroque, first half of the 17th Century, ca. 1630 – 1650


Walnut, partiality gilded, with polychrome decorated bone-inlay
and carved bone Solomonic columns
H. 51 cm. W. 88 cm. D. 36 cm.

Private collection, Hennerton House, Berkshire, United Kingdom


Domenech, R. & L.P. Bueno, L.P. (1965). Antique Spanish Furniture. New York, pp. 74-79;
Feduchi, L. (1969). El Mueble Espanol. Barcelona, pp. 129-134, ill. 116, 117 and 119;
Wilk, C. (1996). Western Furniture. 1350 to the present day. London, pp. 54-55;
Paz Aguiló Alonso, M. (2018). Escritorios y bargueños españoles - Spanish bargueños and writing chests. Madrid, pp.49-54

A vargueño – also known as bargueño, meaning ‘from Bargas’ - is a portable cabinet or desk, with or without a fold-out writing surface. The interior – as a general rule richer decorated than the exterior – of the desk is equipped with small drawers and pigeonholes for storing papers and supplies, or to be used as a jewel chest. This type of cabinet originates from Renaissance Spain. 


The present papillero vargueño is a table cabinet without a front cover. It has seven drawers and a central door, all with the original locks. The gilded front consists of inlaid painted bone in polychrome floral motifs and spiral columns, known as Solomonic columns. The central door has six spiral columns, supporting a broken pediment. It conceals two drawers inside adorned with very fine geometric patterns. The walnut carcase has gilded wrought iron mountings and carrying handles. The cabinet is raised on four turned bun feet, also with gilt decoration. 

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