Hand Painted and Carved Hardwood - 18th Century - Spanish Colonial Bench
W. 6" x Ht. 45"
Rural families in small villages and large haciendas all over Mexico in the 18th and 19th centuries built their own furniture. They were without sawmills, so they became skilled at chipping a board to create a flat bench or table. Later, they may have used circular saws or two-person handsaws. Carpenters devised wooden joinery or used hand-forged iron nails. Though they were creating utilitarian items, they paid attention to symmetry and composition, and added decorative touches, clues to us that they cared about making their useful and ritual items aesthetically pleasing. Today, the pieces show the marks of their years of service for 150 or 250 years. The signs of use, the wear, and the gorgeous patinas from 200 years of loving ownership – or neglect – are an integral part of their beauty.