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Patrimonio acquires a relief “socarrat” with polychrome that probably belonged to the old Casa de la Ciutat

The Department of Heritage and Cultural Resources has reported the acquisition of a relief “socarrat” with polychrome, produced in the workshops of Paterna or Manises in the fifteenth century and which probably belonged to the old Casa de la Ciutat.

Usually these are flat plates, simply decorated with a brush and without glazing. In this case it is a plaque with relief, representing a grotesque, a large mask touched with a bundle of feathers, with body, legs and feet, but without arms and with a feminine face that looks at us, enigmatic, from the front.

This type of plates had an ornamental purpose in the Gothic period, since they were placed in the beams of noble rooms in important palaces, as a type of coffered ceiling. The measurements, 40.5 x 40.5 cm, were suitable to fit into the ceiling coffer.

As reported by the acting Councilor for Heritage and Cultural Resources, Gloria Tello, the acquisition of this work “is another example of how the Valencian heritage has been protected and valued from the Valencia City Council”.


The piece is in perfect condition
The “socarrat” has been acquired from the antique dealer Joaquín Guzmán Cutillas, for an amount of 5,700 euros, and will be exhibited in the future in the City Museum or in one of the historical museums of Valencia.


In his article “Los artesonados de la antigua Casa Municipal de Valencia” by Luis Tramoyeres Blasco (Archivo de Arte Valenciano, Nº 3, 1, 1917 pp. 31-71), he identifies a similar piece, conserved in the Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia, as originating from the old Casa de la Ciutat. There is another in the National Museum of Ceramics “González Martí” (catalog number CE1/08519), in the Museum of Tiling of Martorell or in the Mascort Collection of Torroella de Montgrí.