Culture: Italian, Venice
Medium: Beechwood, ebony, painted and decorated with incrustation of mother-of-pearl, ivory with gilding; miniatures: gouache on parchment; lined with later fabric
Dimensions: 7 7/8 × 15 5/8 in. (20 × 39.7 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number: 17.190.848
Richly decorated with shimmering tablets of painted mother-of-pearl and gilded ivory, this casket incorporates gouaches showing mythological themes that celebrate female beauty. These depictions, combined with the fact that the lid originally enclosed a mirror, indicate that this cofanetto held toilet articles. The exterior framework is painted alla dasmaschina, showing decorative patterns resembling those used to embellish Saracenic steel.
[Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide, 2010]