The Colonial Andes: Tapestries and Silverwork, 1530–1830

September 29–December 12, 2004

Secular Works

The exuberant mélange of flora, fauna, and local variations of imported Asian and European motifs employed in the liturgical arts also crossed over into secular works, as displayed in superbly crafted silver objects and weavings created for domestic use. On view is a richly patterned poncho (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), a tapestry-woven garment filled with elaborate floral borders and with musicians woven in silver threads. A beautiful silver "coca box" dating from about 1775 (private collection, Madrid) may have been used to hold coca leaves or leaves of yerba mate, which were both brewed as tea. This "Rococo" box is but one example of the distinctively designed household items dedicated to communal consumption of beverages in the exhibition.