Export Portable Desk (Bargueño)
Catering to the demand for export lacquerware, the Japanese manufactured objects to Western specifications of both function and design. This lacquer cabinet is an example of a piece made in the namban style, for nambanjin, or foreigners—in this case the Portuguese. It displays a synthesis of indigenous Japanese elements of technical virtuosity together with forms adapted to the Western market and decorative motifs that are obviously non-Japanese in inspiration. When opened, it has drawers ranged around a recessed niche. The architectural motif appears to have been derived from the arch of a mihrab, the prayer niche of a mosque in the wall facing Mecca. A tree of life, painted in gold with pearl-shell inlay, meanders over the interior and exterior surfaces. These motifs can be traced to Gujarat, India, and were most likely transmitted eastward via the Portuguese trade.
Lacquer with gold flecks, mother-of-pearl inlay, metal fittings
late 16th-early 17th century
17 5/16 x 24 7/8 x 13 9/16 x 24 1/2 in. (44 x 63.2 x 34.5 x 62.2 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden
Rectangular box with air on hinged doors on front and 4 tiers of drawers inside, 3 on top, 3 on bottom, 2 one above the other on either side flanking a vertical drawer in the center. Lacquer and mother-of-pearl in a black lacquer background with borders of gold-fleck lacquer. Design of folding fans and family crests on front, top, and sides, ivy on back, morning glory vines on inside of doors, flowering grasses on faces of drawers. Drawers lined with red lacquer.
This item is not on view
Export Portable Desk (Bargueño), late 16th-early 17th century. Lacquer with gold flecks, mother-of-pearl inlay, metal fittings, 17 5/16 x 24 7/8 x 13 9/16 x 24 1/2 in. (44 x 63.2 x 34.5 x 62.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John P. Lyden, 84.69.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 84.69.1_closed_PS6.jpg)
overall, 84.69.1_closed_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.