lap desk

lap desk

18th century
Artist
unknown maker
Country
Ecuador
lap desk
Wood with silver and metal inlay
Gift of the Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard Family
1990.318

Unknown Artist, Lap desk. Ecuador, 18th century. Wood with silver and metal inlay, 8 x 23 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. Gift of the Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard Family; 1990.318
 

This object is currently on view
Dimensions
height: 8 in, 20.3200 cm; width: 23 1/2 in, 59.69 cm; depth: 17 1/4 in, 43.815 cm
Inscription
none
Department
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Collection
Latin American Art

This portable piece of furniture, with its ornate hardwood marquetry depicting flora, fauna, and architectural vistas, was produced by a Quito cabinetry workshop. Known as an escritorio (writer’s chest), such boxes were used for the storage of writing materials during the viceregal period. The exterior of the lid features a cityscape vista within a floral frame; the interior of the lid is decorated with two vases full of flowers, with several animals including a llama, a lion, and two dogs. The technique of marquetry was first introduced to Spain from the Muslim world during the Middle Ages and has flourished there, especially in Southern Spain, until the present day. The technique became prevalent throughout the Spanish Americas with significant centers of production in Puebla, Oaxaca, Lima and Quito. The interior hardware, including the lockplate, and the silver drawer pulls, are all original.
-- Michael A. Brown, 2013

Known Provenance
Gifted 26 December 1990 to the Denver Art Museum by the Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard Family. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.