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Decorative Arts

In the rarified cuadra de estrado, even the consumption of water was an elaborate ceremony. Guests were served fresh water, accompanied by sweet biscuits for dipping, on large serving trays or round silver salvers. Imported glasses from Venice and La Granja (outside Madrid) are often listed in colonial inventories along with aromatic clay beakers from Tonalá, Mexico, known as búcaros de Indias, which were particularly prized and widely collected. Because of their porous clay, these vessels slightly chilled the water and also imparted a particular earthy fragrance that was much appreciated. The fascination with búcaros de Indias was so extreme that ladies ate little pieces of them to savor the taste.

En la sofisticada cuadra de estrado, incluso el consumo del agua era una ceremonia elaborada. A los invitados se les servía agua fresca, acompañada por bizcochos dulces para remojar en ella, sobre grandes bandejas de servir o sobre salvas redondas de plata. Los vasos importados de Venecia y de la Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja (en las afueras de Madrid) a menudo aparecen catalogados en los inventarios coloniales junto a las muy valoradas y extensamente coleccionadas copas de arcilla aromática de Tonalá, México, conocidas también como búcaros de Indias. Gracias a su arcilla porosa, estas vasijas enfriaban ligeramente el agua y le impartían una fragancia terrosa particular que era muy apreciada. La fascinación con los búcaros de Indias llegó a tales extremos que las damas comían pequeños trocitos de ellos para saborear su gusto.

DATES probably 16th or 17th century
DIMENSIONS 6 5/16 x 4 1/2 in. (16.1 x 11.4 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Museum Special Fund
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CAPTION Glass, probably 16th or 17th century. Glass, 6 5/16 x 4 1/2 in. (16.1 x 11.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Special Fund, 13.1080.14. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 13.1080.14_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
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