Barcelona Cultura

The 18th century dresser chest of drawers by the cabinetmaker Salvador Mayol

The chest of drawers is considered the most emblematic piece of furniture in aristocratic Catalan homes or those of the high bourgeoisie in the 18th century. It often formed part of the female dowry when a marriage was arranged and was the piece of furniture that represented women's social status. In a certain way, the chest of drawers was, in its forms and characteristics, the result of the evolution of the box with drawers so characteristic of the preceding centuries.

The Generalitat de Catalunya has recently acquired for its National Art Collection (inventory number 3109202) an 18th century chest of drawers and has placed it in our exhibition rooms so that it can be seen by the public. It is a piece of furniture made of walnut root wood with a particular undulating shape around its contour and a peculiar serpentine fillet of boxwood. The upper part has a footstool, a typical element of Catalan cabinetmaking, which includes a cupboard and two drawers. The body rests on four volute-shaped legs and has another four drawers. As a whole, it is very characteristic of the Baroque period, the artistic period in which it was built.

An exceptional feature of this chest of drawers, apart from the extraordinary quality of its execution, is the stamped signature of Salvador Mayol on the inside, a cabinetmaker documented in the 18th century in Barcelona, of whom we only know of one other piece of furniture of similar characteristics, less ostentatious, which is kept in the Maricel Museum in Sitges.

Ajuntament de Barcelona