Pietro Giusti (Italian, 18221878)
Carved walnut, ebony, lined with red velvet; 11 x 15 x 10 1/4 in. (27.9 x 38.1 x 26 cm)
Purchase, Gift of John D. Rockefeller, by exchange, and Rogers Fund, 1998 (1998.19)
This rectangular casket of carved walnut with ebony details is raised on scrolled feet. The lid, decorated with scrolling foliage carved in low relief against a stippled background as well as Renaissance motifs, is surmounted by Romulus and Remus with the she-wolf. The side panels of the casket are carved in high relief with floral scrolls, acanthus leaves, and birds. Cupid, carved with his bow and quiver, stands at the center of the front and back panels; the corners are carved with mythical beasts.
One of the most successful designers and sculptors in nineteenth-century Tuscany, Giusti specialized in the carving of elaborate frames and caskets in the Renaissance style. An almost identical casket was shown at the London International Exhibition of 1862.