The National Heritage furniture collection Antiques 09/12/2020

Composed of more than 16,000 pieces, the National Heritage furniture collection ranges from the 16th century to the first third of the 20th century ignoring some other specimen such as the ark of the century XIV which is preserved in the Royal Monastery of Santa Clara de Tordesillas.

Located between the different royal palaces and monasteries of the territory peninsular stand out for their great artistic quality and typological diversity especially those furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries.

  1. House of the Habsburgs

Carlos V was one of the first Spanish monarchs to show interest in pieces of furniture with a view to always making them useful , and so on. stayed reflected in one of the few works that still are preserved from this time, an extraordinary portable desk German steel campaign dating from 1545.

His successor, Felipe II, was in charge to equip many of the rooms of both the Real Alcázar of Madrid and the Monastery of El Escorial, with superb cabinetry pieces among which stand out, two Ming Dynasty Chinese Made Scissor Folding Chairs, that perfectly show what the traditional furniture was like Chinese five monumental doors of German marquetry from the Bartolom & eacute; workshop Weisshaupt of Augsburg, located today in the Hall of Ambassadors, Hall of Portraits and Hall of the Throne, and the majestic Italian bookcase consisting of 54 shelves from the El Escorial Library dating from 1589-1592.

From this time also and in the Monasteries of the Incarnation and of the Royal Barefoot, there are two Mexican maqueados works following the orientalizing models, and a Japanese set in the Namban style .

During the seventeenth century the typologies created up to now were they kept repeating like the previous century within an aesthetic baroque

       2. Bourbon House

The reign of the first Bourbon monarch, Philip V, was marked by Italian and French influences, and their subsequent reinterpretation by Spanish artists. The chest of drawers, the console, the sofa and the bureau, they became the eighteenth-century typologies par excellence , and as it was not going to be less, the seating furniture in its most diverse variants, forms and functions.

One of the most outstanding examples that best represents this era was the bedroom of the kings Felipe V and his wife Isabel de Farnesio (current Salon de Charoles) that he built the Sicilian architect Filippo Juvarra for the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, whose walls were covered with Chinese lacquer panels from the period Kangxi.

The 18th century also gave birth to a new typology, dining tables with marqueted tops and folding side wings, who retired once the meal reserved for the monarch.

Ya con Carlos III empiezan a surgir los primeros Talleres Reales de Ebanisterías, Bordados y Bronces, y a imponerse el gusto por el rococó.

Some of the most outstanding pieces of furniture of this era is he set consisting of twelve matching consoles and mirrors, carved by Gennaro di Fiore, that come to represent the four parts of the world, the four seasons of the year and the four cardinal virtues of the king for the Throne Room of the Royal Palace of Madrid.

Other masterpieces of rococo taste of courtly cabinetmaking, also for the Madrid palace are the mirrors and stalls of the Gala Dining Room designed by Mattia Gasparini and made by José Canops and his workshop.

Likewise, Gasparini was also the one who was in charge of designing the wallpaper and rococo furniture of the so-called 'Indian Wood Cabinets' that are currently distributed throughout the different rooms of the palace.

       4. The exquisite taste of Carlos IV

The interest it aroused Carlos IV throughout his reign for movable art has been reflected in some beautiful ensembles of neoclassical style and directory, which have their culmination in the magnificent Platinum Cabinet of the Casa del Labrador de Aranjuez devised by the French architect Charles Percier and the bronzist Sitel in the purest imperial style.

Equally, another of the most outstanding sets of the Royal Cabinetmaking Workshop were the Fine Wood Rooms for the Palace of the Bourbons in the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial started by Teodoro Oncell around 1793 and concluded later years by Angel Maeso.

His son, Fernando VII, also wanted to impose his style, known like Fernandino. Relevant decorative ensembles during his reign is the Audience Hall of the Palacio de los Borbones in El Escorial or the Carlos III Hall in the Royal Palace of Madrid, both of neo-Gothic styles, also the work of the master cabinetmaker Angel Maeso.

Among the French furniture, it is worth highlighting the Sèvres porcelain table, the work of Dévelly, on whose board the coronation of Charles X is represented, a gift from King Louis Philippe of France, to Elizabeth II.

       4. Alfonsina restoration

During the reign of Elizabeth II, it is possible to discover a sequence of styles that ranges from pure neoclassical to rococo, plus empire, neo-Gothic and neo-Egyptian.

There were also times when the mechanical marquetry was present in many of the furniture in the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, especially in the queen's bedroom, thanks to the work of the cabinetmaker French Hyppolite-Edmè Pretot.

Also upholstery furniture such as the confidant, the borne (circular divan for the center of the rooms), the ebonized flying chair in Philippine style and the capitone armchairs became fashionable. But if there are some pieces worthy of naming those the real cribs of the infants, bathtub and taca of the time, thus as the Russian-made malachite armchair and table in the Palace de Aranjuez, a gift from Prince Anatole Demidoff to the Spanish court.

The Alfonsine Restoration addressed important reforms of eclectic taste concentrating mainly on the Royal Palace of Madrid, and whose leaders were José Segundo de Lema, the architect mayor of the palace, and the Count of Valencia de Don Juan as advisor. The works affected the Ballroom with plateresque carving, the French Neo-Baroque Gala Dining Room, the Gothic-style Billiard Room, much to the taste of Viollet de Duc, the Salón del Council of Ministers that recreates a neo-Renaissance atmosphere and the Oriental-style Smoking Room.

Alfonso XIII, but especially his wife Queen Victoria Eugenia took care of it. of hiring various furniture makers both Spanish, French and English numerous pieces in the English style, Louis XV and Louis XVI to decorate the entire eastern wing of the Madrid palace, as well as as their private rooms, among which highlights the seat of the king's throne, a replica of that of Carlos III with the effigy of the monarch on the occasion of his coronation as King of Spain.

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