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Lacquerware Tray

Price: $285.00
 
Era: mid 20th century
Origin: Quiroga, Michoacán, Mexico
Artist: unknown
Condition: very good
Material: wood, powdered pigments, vegetable oil, melted tar
Dimensions: 17in x 17in x 2in

This vintage Mexican decorative platter, or batea, made of carved solid wood is a beautiful example of the indigenous painted lacquerware technique. Using the traditional technique of Quiroga, Michoacán, these bateas have been made in this village for over 450 years. The wooden platters were used for offerings, marriages, dance dramas, processions, parades, and for decoration. These bateas were hollowed out with small woodworking tools creating texture in the background and then lacquered with a mixture of vegetable oil, powdered pigments and melted tar. Floral and foliate designs typically decorate the surface overall. This piece was carved during the mid-twentieth century, 1930's-1960's.

The lacquerware tradition in Mexico predates the arrival of the Spanish and is believed to date back more than 2000 years. The production of these lacquered trays continued in central and southern Mexico in the Colonial era as did the production of very decorative pieces for European markets. This insured the survival of the indigenous techniques and designs in the remaining lacquerware centers of Patzcuaro, Uruapan and Quiroga, Michoacán, Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas and Olinala, Guerrero.
 


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