Visit our Online Flea Market!

May 6, 2013

Happy Cinco de Mayo! (a day late)

Over the weekend I spent some time researching the rich history of Hispanic
decor.  What I knew about antique Mexican furnishings was pitifully little:

                      o  they're intricately carved from exotic woods
                      o  they're fairly rare in this part of the country
                      o  they're rustic yet elegant
                      o  they're quite expensive

So, let's learn a little more about the furniture history of our neighbor to the south.

Often referred to as the Hacienda Style, Mexican décor had a fascinating
beginning, heavily influenced by Spanish and European influences.

The Spanish Colonial period began in 1521, when Hernando Cortes invaded
Mexico, and continued for the next 300 years.  Heavily influenced by
Spanish Catholicism, most of the furniture and decorative art made
during this time was intended for use in churches and monasteries.

Mexican Style

In Mexican cities that the Spanish had conquered craft guilds were
formed and their products were influenced by what was popular in Europe
at the time.  Although the furnishings were Spanish and European in style,
local craftsmen began to include characteristics of the native environment.

The choice of woods to make the intricately carved
armoires, chests, and lyre-leg refectory tables was
either walnut, cedar, cypress or mesquite.

These antique convent doors are gorgeous, aren't they?

The beams of this exquisite coffered ceiling
were hand carved as was the furniture.

Wrought iron plays a prominent part in many Spanish Colonial designs.

The 16th Century Spanish Walnut Vargueno, below, features 16 drawers
made from walnut, ivory, and bone.  The hardware is iron and the
drawer pulls are carved clam shells.

A portable 18th century Spanish Colonial escritorio (writing desk), below,
has the original iron lock-plate, hasp and hinges.  The small desk measures
10.5 in x 8.5 inches and was made from cedar with citrus wood inlay.

Although a reproduction, this 4-door painted and silver
leafed colonial sideboard was hand made using cachimbo
hardwood to the exact specifications of the original. 


Early Spanish, Italian and European influences
are still visible in historic Mexican homes.

Instead of fabric, most Spanish Colonial
chairs were caned or upholstered in leather.

Early California Antiques
A pair of rush caned chairs from the early
1920's still retain their original paint.
Although disarmingly simple, they're
priced at almost $900 for the pair.

Today's post is a frustratingly brief and inadequate description of the beautiful
world of antique Mexican décor.  But I hope it inspires you to research
further into this fascinating subject that is rich in history and European style.


  1. The "old??" State of the Cross really caught my eye. I would love something like that.

  2. Love the colors in that last room - gorgeous!