Peruvian Chest

This Peruvian leather-bound chest is painted on the front with large allegorical figures flanking smaller Old World aristocrats. The sides show figures with their servants on the grounds of a country estate. The chest was most likely commissioned by a member of Peru’s privileged class for proud display in a reception room, where it would have functioned as a signifier of its owner’s erudition and education. Inside, fine imported textiles, which in colonial Peru were worth more than their weight in silver, were stored.