Spanish Colonial traveling desk

Print Page

This wooden writing cabinet, known as a vargueño, is heavily decorated with silver. A distinctive piece of furniture in the Spanish Colonial empire, its drop-front walnut desk lowers to reveal a writing surface and drawers for storing papers and other valuables. Because it was intended for travel, it was designed with a lock plate on the front and drop handles on the sides.

Furniture in New Spain was crafted from the vast natural resources of the Americas. Rich in timber and silver mines, there was little need to import costly furniture from Europe. The main cabinet is made from walnut and Spanish cedar. The elaborate silverwork was added in the early 1800s. The cabinet sits on a trestle base that was made in the late 1800s.

Browse All Stories

Read stories from people across Texas

Browse All Stories