An important Italian Baroque relief pietra dura and gilt bronze mounted ebony jewel casket  Grand Ducal Workshops, Florence early 18th century
Lot 1519
An important Italian Baroque relief pietra dura and gilt bronze mounted ebony jewel casket
Grand Ducal Workshops, Florence
early 18th century
Sold for US$ 617,000 inc. premium
Lot Details
Property originally from a Greenwich, Connecticut Estate
An important Italian Baroque relief pietra dura and gilt bronze mounted ebony jewel casket
Grand Ducal Workshops, Florence
early 18th century
The hinged stepped rectangular cover with raised central panel inset with elaborate foliate scrolls of relief carved lapis lazuli, amethyst quartz, jasper, nephrite, sodalite, carnelian and various agates within gilt bronze molded edge and cartouche mounts, the scrolled corners suspending a pendant leafy cluster over the corners of the conforming case inset with similar pietra dura panels to each side, the cover interior painted with Annunciation on agate, all on pad feet, interior with typed label From Rothschild Col. TRING.
height 10 1/2in (27cm); width 17 1/2in (44.5cm); depth 13 1/2in (34cm)

Footnotes

  • The elaborate pietra dura panels set into the offered casket can be firmly attributed to the Grand Ducal workshops in Florence. A whole array of pietra dura inlaid objects were made under the supervision of Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652-1725) who was director of the workshops under Cosimo III (1670-1723). Foggini was an enthusiastic director of the Medici workshops supervising every detail of the works produced. Many of these magnificent caskets were given as diplomatic gifts.

    Comparable examples are located in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

    Provenance:
    The paper label on interior of casket refers to Tring Park, a large country house in Tring, Hertfordshire. The estate was purchased by Baron Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879) in 1872 for £230,000, roughly equivalent to £15 million today.

    Lionel gave the property to his son Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild (1840-1915) as a wedding gift. Nathaniel's eldest son, Walter Rothschild (1868-1937) resided at Tring until his death. Walter was known for establishing a major zoological collection which is now the Tring Natural History Museum.

    In 1938 the Tring estate was sold by Walter's nephew Victor Rothschild (1910-1990). Victor also offered the furnishings of the family's London house at Sotheby & Co., April 19, 1937 as the 'Magnificent Contents of 148 Piccadilly, London'. It was the first ever auction to reach £1 million, broadcast live by the BBC and published in Time Magazine.

    In more recent times the casket was in the possession of a Greenwich, Connecticut family, where it was proudly displayed in the library for many years.
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