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Recent acquisitions

Marriage chest (CE28752)

Arca de novia. Detalle

Typologically, this item belongs to one of the most iconic types of Catalonian furniture in the late medieval and early modern periods: the chests known as 'marriage chest'. These included a bride's dowry and were intended to contain her trousseau. A great number of pieces of this type were produced in Catalonia, especially in the city of Barcelona.

The union of late Gothic visual languages with some Renaissance details is characteristic of these chests. While its structure was based on models originating in the 15th century, its ornamentation attempted to bring it into line with contemporary tastes. This trend persisted throughout the first half of the 16th century.

The figurative pictorial ornamentation also changed during this period: it moved from the inside of the lid to the front panels, where a portrait of the bride and groom appeared. In this case, they were not really portraits, but rather generic representations of what were then known as 'cabezas de emperador' (emperors' heads).

The chest in pictures PDF

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Doll’s house (CE28758)

Casa de muñecas. Planta 3

A new piece has recently been installed in one of the museum's exhibition halls. It is a doll's house full of life, depicting Spanish bourgeois everyday life in the mid-19th century.

More than a metre and a half high by one metre wide (150 x 11 x 59 cm), it consists of three floors and seven rooms full of details. It features a kitchen, dining room and maid's room on the ground floor; living room and sitting room (or parlour) on the main floor; and a boudoir and master bedroom on the first floor.

It was made in Cadiz between 1845 and 1850 by the Quesada Cangh couple for their four daughters. they probably commissioned different craftsmen specialising in furniture, metals, glass, ivory, painting, textiles, wallpaper, carpets and rugs. These were supplemented by imports, mainly from England, with which Cadiz maintained an active trade in consumer goods. In fact, England had a long tradition of building doll's houses and producing miniatures to furnish and decorate them.

It’s well worth a stop to see this doll’s house - enjoy and revel in the thousand and one secrets it holds!

Want to see it up close? Click to get a closer look Pinterest