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Unique Spanish Coffee Table

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    Posted 6 years ago

    William57
    (1 item)

    This appears to be a hand carved coffee table. It was purchased in Madrid Spain by a US military family in the early 1960's. The measurements are 36"x36"x16". We have been told that the face carvings in the legs appear to be Don Quxiote. Also the marble insert in the top of the table is interchangable with another marble insert we have that is much darker.
    We would appreciate any information someone may have on this piece of furniture.

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    Comments

    1. William57 William57, 6 years ago
      We would appreciate any information someone may have on this piece of furniture
    2. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Yessss, so uniquely Spanish!!!! I really have to love it.

      As I explained on some other Spanish item from the same time here at CW, there was this trend in Franco's Spain that looked back for inspiration to the shapes of our "glorious past". One must understand that at the time and Spain being under a dictatorship we were quite isolated from the rest of the world -isolation that lasted until Eisenhower's visit to Franco in 1959, which brought the opening of the US military bases in Spain, as well as the opening of Spain to the world-. And even if during these years there were designers -just a few- and architects working and creating furniture in a modern language-, most of the more conservative furniture was made in this old fashioned style consisting of heavily carved wood, with lots of human heads -warriors most of the time, wearing helmets like those of the Spanish conquistadores (you may want to image-google for "conquistador" to see what I mean) and other human figures... and mostly men. This style we all designate nowadays by the mocking name of "Remordimiento Español" or simply "Remordimiento", which translates into English like... "Remorse" LOL In fact this furniture was "sort of" inspired in the Renaisance, Renacimiento in Spanish, so you see there's a pun there... You may also want to image-google for "muebles remordimiento" or "estilo remordimiento"... such an incredible -not bad, not good, just incredible- style!

      So your table, as I see it, is kind of a modernized Remordimiento, as it is clearly using modern lines and bold volumes, but still bears those heavy carvings. I am not sure I'd say those heads are Don Quixote by the way... it wouldn't make any sense having four Don Quixotes in just one table (although on second thoughts, if ever there was a "Disney furniture style", it would make sense having a table with four Mickey Mouse heads carved, one on each corner LOL. But seriously, I don't think they'll be, although the image of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza was thoroughly used in decorative items... I should share my Remordimiento Quijote and Sancho bookends someday!)

      This style of furniture had its actual roots in a so called "Estilo Español" (Spanish Style) that was developed in Spain around the 1920s (there are some amazing buildings in Madrid in this style) but it somehow got out of hand between 1939 and 1959... LOL It was actually pretty valuable when it was made and the craftmanship of the cabinetmakers was amazing. There were some furniture companies that specialized in this style and they really mastered it. They used to work under commision and it really was a sign of wealth having your living room or dining room or study made in this style (that I guess was simply called Español at the time...). I remember my aunt's husband, an architect, had his study made in the style... I didn't know where to look at, everything was so thoroughly carved!!!

      Sorry if I wrote too much... and probably I did nothing but confusing you :) in any case, if there's anything more you want to know just ask me. I'll try to explain better. In my defence i have to say I don't always have the chance to explain this sort of things in a foreign language... so I'm pretty excited, LOL)
    3. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      By the way, there's one thing I won't be able to explain: who made or what factory made it... they fell in the darkest of oblivions! :/

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