by Rosa María Creixell, lecturer in history of furniture.
Collaborator at the museum of decorative arts.
trunk is undoubtedly the piece of furniture that has remained
a traditional feature of Catalan houses for the longest time.
Its presence dates back from the Middle Ages and its use and function
were preserved - in spite of the appearance of the chest of drawers
as a handier substitute - until the nineteenth century while,
in many cases, it assumed slightly different designs that were
new versions of models of the past.
As a "container" piece of furniture, a household item essential
for everyday life in private homes, the trunk was used for many
different purposes and, according to the use it was intended for,
there was a wide range of models that varied from the simple wooden
boxes known as "arcas" in the kingdom of Aragon - which were used
to store grains, tools and some kinds of food - to the more richly
adorned cases, with a high aesthetic appeal as well as an essential
symbolic significance, which were used to display and keep the
"arras", the coins and other objects that were part of the bride's
dowry. The piece that is the subject of this article is of the
latter type and it is currently an exhibit at the Museum of Decorative
Arts in Barcelona. (...)
is a piece of furniture the design of which fits perfectly in
the Renaissance style, since we may say that it dates back from
the mid sixteenth century and that it displays obvious points
of similarity with the Italian models of that period. (...) .