Casket (coffanetto or scrigno)

Date: ca. 1570–90

Culture: Italian, Venice

Medium: Beechwood, Honduras rosewood veneer, partially gilded, painted and lacquered, gold powder, gold leaf, silver flakes, silver-gilt handle

Dimensions: Overall (confirmed): 7 3/4 x 16 7/16 x 11 3/8 in. (19.7 x 41.8 x 28.9 cm);
Height (with handle): 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm)

Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1957

Accession Number: 57.25a, b


Similar in shape to a cassone (a large receptacle for a bride's dowry) but much smaller, this object is either a cofanetto (a luxury vanity case for toilet articles and personal items) or a scrigno (a strong box). Both kinds of caskets were locked with a key that belonged to the bedroom of upper-class Venetian Renaissance women. The density of the painted gold-leaf ornament that covers the surface bestows a distinctly Ottoman flavor to this object, and in fact the horizontal inserts closely resemble the patterns on contemporary Ottoman bookbindings. Only the elaborate handle and escutcheon give away this box's Venetian origin.