Collections: Decorative Arts: Traveling Desk (Escritorio)

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Plaque

Portuguese explorers and traders arrived by sea in the kingdom of Benin in 1485. Representations of the Portuguese were quickly incorporated...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Not at Home

    The painting’s title may seem curious, especially since there is clearly someone in this comfortably furnished domestic interior. In t...

     

    Login to play

    Login with Google ID

    Forgot your password?

    Not a Posse member? Register

    Brooklyn Museum Posse:
    Exploring the collection

    When you join the posse, your tags comments and favorites will display with your attribution and save to your profile.

    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.

    close

    51.102_SL3.jpg 51.102_bw.jpg CUR.51.102b_side.jpg CUR.51.102b_detail.jpg

    Traveling Desk (Escritorio)

    A number of Spanish American towns became well-known manufacturing centers specializing in escritorios and related desk types. Among the most famous was Villa Alta de San Ildefonso in Oaxaca, Mexico, where this finely crafted traveling desk was created. The desk’s interior is inlaid with representations of saints and their attributes within New World landscapes, suggesting a religious provenance. The piece, designed for personal use, may have furnished a private space within a larger ecclesiastical complex for a high-ranking member of the church.

    Varias ciudades de Hispanoamérica se convirtieron en conocidos centros especializados en manufactura de escritorios y objetos relacionados. Entre los más famosos estaban la Villa Alta de San Ildefonso en Oaxaca, México, donde se creó un estilo de escritorios finos portátiles. El interior del escritorio se taraceaba con representaciones de santos y sus atributos en paisajes de Nuevo Mundo, sugiriendo su procedencia religiosa. La pieza, diseñada para el uso personal al interior de un complejo eclesiástico mayor, puede haber amueblado el espacio privado de un miembro del alto rango de la iglesia.

    This text refers to these objects: ' 51.102a; 51.102b

    • Medium: Spanish cedar and walnut, with hard- and softwood inlays, pigments, iron, and velvet
    • Place Made: Villa Alta de San Ildefonso, Oaxaca, Mexico
    • Dates: 18th century
    • Dimensions: open: 22 3/4 x 37 1/8 x 31 7/8 in. (57.8 x 94.3 x 81 cm) closed: 20 3/4 x 37 1/8 x 15 in. (52.7 x 94.3 x 38.1 cm)
    • Collections:Decorative Arts
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: 51.102a
    • Credit Line: Gift of the family of Josephus Daniels
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Traveling Desk (Escritorio), 18th century. Spanish cedar and walnut, with hard- and softwood inlays, pigments, iron, and velvet, open: 22 3/4 x 37 1/8 x 31 7/8 in. (57.8 x 94.3 x 81 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the family of Josephus Daniels, 51.102a. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 51.102_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: A portable fall-front writing cabinet (a) secured with iron fittings backed with crimson velvet. Its plain cedar exterior contrasts with the rich decoration inside, executed in both in marquetry and with incised lines. Depth of color produced by rubbing of zulaque into designs. The inlaid Dominican arms on the exterior, placed where drop handles might once have been, suggest a religious provenance, and this is borne out by the iconography inside. Images of apostles with the attributes of their martyrdom decorate its compartments. Saint Bartholomew with a knife and Saint Matthias with an ax stand on the center drawers in replicated landscapes of lush, New World vegetation. On the lower drawers evangelists Saint Luke and Saint Mark sit astride their symbolic animals and, on the fall-front, Saint Andrew with a diagonal cross and Saint James with his pilgrim staff are flanked by unidentified standing figures, one with a scroll and one with a book. Saint Peter with the keys to heaven and Saint James the Less with a fuller's club both with hawk-like tropical birds hovering over their heads, stand on the arched doors to a central arch. Deep inside its architectural compartment is the winged figure of the Archangel Gabriel. He holds a flowering branch, on which has alighted another bird with the host in its beak. Base (b). Condition: See reports (Brian Howard & Assoc.) 1991 & 6/16/95
    • Record Completeness: Best (84%)
    advanced 106,006 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."


    Tags by Posse members



    Please note, the Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. Please see our FAQ.

    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.