Black Lacquerware, Hand-Painted, Blanket or Wedding Chest/Trunk. Late 1800s to 1920 Traditional, antique, Mexican Folk Art, hand painted, lacquerware trunk, probably made in Olinala, Guerrero, Mexico sometime between the late 1800s to 1920. This trunk has beautifully detailed painting on all sides except the very back as well as on the inside of the lid. The paintings are lovely, delicate and detailed with ornate designs and borders on all the painted sides. On the front face there is a view of a Mexican town from the outside with the church in the middle, with its imposing towers flanked by various buildings in the Spanish viceregal style.
Along with trees, lawns, birds and a body of water. On the top, front face there is an Eagle holding a snake over two crossed Mexican flags and. Two exquisite, rampant black lions. On the very top, the back of the top, and on the sides there are beautifully detailed red and blue flowers. All of the images and paintings are framed by detailed borders and decorative patterns.The interior is lacquered in a pale orange color, with another eagle holding a snake over white, pink and blue flowers. There is wear, commensurate with age, especially on the edges, and some areas that are chipped, especially on the top and near the lock, but these do not detract from the overall impact of the trunk and the art work. Rather, to me, they add to the character. The colors are still bold and vibrant. The lacquer is still fairly shiny and appears to have been applied quite thickly. In the areas where it has worn through, there is a lovely patina of age on the wood. The wood is heavy and solid.
Some strengthening brackets were added to the inside of the lid at some point to keep the joints together and old fashioned caulking was pressed into some of those joints inside. A lid bracket was also added, which is helpful. If you dont like these later additions, they could be easy to remove with a screwdriver.There is one big chip, as shown, on the left side. It is not as noticeable as it looks in its cameo shot. There is also a crack along the back corner of the top back panel. Someone put a piece of Masonite in the bottom at some point.
It is fitted in tightly on top of the wood bottom, so I have not tried to take it out. But the bottom, and the trunk in general, are very study and solid and ready to be used. The only thing I know about the history of this trunk is that the woman I bought it from told me her mother bought it for her at an antique shop 40-50 years ago and it was kept upstairs in her bedroom all these years to store first her toys in and then more recently her clothes. The chest embodies the typical style and technique of the region of Olinalá in the state of Guerrero, Mexico around the turn of the century. To see another similar example of this style of black lacquered trunk check out MexicanArt.Info, it even has the black lions. While there are a lot of small lacquered boxes made in Olinala it seems like trunks of this size are few and far between. Mexican Lacquerware (laca or maque in Mexican Spanish) is one of the country's oldest craft. Indigenous people have been making lacquered items since Pre-Colombian times.
In Mexico, making lacquer ware has been practiced since pre Hispanic times. Having different origins from Asian lacquer ware, although Mexican style was later influenced by Asian style after being conquered by the Spanish and being influenced by international trading.Chia oil and local minerals and soils were used to make the lacquer and pigments. For instance the black color was often made by burning coal bark and grinding it into powder while the chia oil was made by gathering chia seeds, roasting them and grinding them in a hand mill, then separating out the oil by making a paste with water and pressing out the oil. The lacquer was applied in multiple coats, sanding between coats with a flat sanding stone. Very time consuming and labor intensive! 32 x 16 x 15 H. The item "Antique Mexican Folk Art Lacquerware Hand-Painted Blanket/Wedding Chest Trunk 32" is in sale since Tuesday, November 19, 2019. This item is in the category "Antiques\Furniture\Chests & Trunks\1800-1899".
The seller is "11artemis22" and is located in Leverett, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped to United States.