Spanish Children's Furniture set
An 18th-century Spanish children’s furniture set, consisting of a chair and table. Furniture made specifically for children can trace its origins to Ancient Egypt, where records suggest beds were first designed in dimensions suitable for small children. A vase from Ancient Greece, circa 400 BCE, depicts a child sitting in what looks like a high chair, solidifying evidence that furniture created specifically for children’s needs has been around for quite some time. Children’s furniture became its own widespread industry during the Industrial Revolution, due to widespread manufacturing advances and lower production costs. This furniture set reflects sensibilities and preferences evident in 18th-century Spanish furniture. Wooden furniture was the norm in Spain at this time. Carving techniques focused on form and function, creating a rustic final product. This hearty style of furniture production suited itself to both extreme heat and travel, important for the many Spanish settlers in the 18th century. Furniture was quite simple, with an emphasis on block-like forms and very restrained, minimal decoration. The Spanish children’s furniture set pieces are crafted from walnut and softwood, with strong, timeless linework. The set remains in great condition for its age.
At this time in Spain, Philip V (r. 1700–1746) became the first Spanish monarch to rule over a single, centralized state, under the Neuva Planta decrees (1707), which abolished the charters of independently administered kingdoms within Spain. The parliaments of these regions were dismantled, and only individuals loyal to Philip V were appointed to office. Notably, the Kingdom of Navarre, along with the entirety of the Basque region were exempt from this ruling, and retained their semi-autonomous self-government, as a reward for supporting Philip V in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1715).