Lot 3
  • 3

A RARE GILT-BRONZE MOUNTED EBONY AND IVORY CASKET, THE PLAQUES CEYLON THIRD QUARTER 16TH CENTURY, THE MOUNTS ITALIAN LATE 16TH CENTURY |

Estimate
50,000 - 80,000 EUR
Sold
56,250 EUR
bidding is closed

Description

in rectangular shape, the front with three drawers in two ranks, two secret drawers inside and two lateral handles; the upper escutcheon engraved with the initials F.M.D.VR. topped by an oak tree with interlaced branches; with a printed label Collection J. Kugel Paris on the upper drawer ; with a later lock  

Provenance

- Francesco Maria II della Rovere (1549-1631), last Duke of Urbino
- Almost certainly his granddaughter, Vittoria della Rovere (1622-1695), wife of Ferdinando II de Medici, Grand-Duke of Tuscany
- Almost certainly his son, Cosimo III de Medici (1642-1723), last Grand-Duke of Tuscany
- European Princely Collection
- Kugel Gallery, Paris
- European Distinguished Private Collection

Catalogue Note

Francesco Maria II della Rovere, descendant of the Montefeltro family and of the family of Pope Sistus IV and Julius II, as well as related to the most important Italian dynasties (Farnese, Gonzaga), was the head of the minuscule state of Urbino. He was a man of courage and conducted himself with distinction at the battle of Lepanto. His second wife was his fourteen-year-old cousin Livia della Rovere. They had one son Federico Ubaldo who married Claudia de Medici, daughter of Ferdinando I of Tuscany. The grand-daughter and only heiress of the Duke of Urbino, Vittoria, was brought up in Florence from an early age: when her grand-father died in 1631 – and subsequently the duchy became a possession of the Church – all the della Rovere collections were sent from Urbino to Florence : there were cases upon cases full of treasures including some of the most beautiful pictures in Europe, such as Titian's Venus of Urbino and the portraits of Federico da Montefeltro and his Duchess  painted by Piero della Francesca,  two million in gold coins and a number of very precious jewels. Ultimately, Vittoria married the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand II, in 1634 and after her death, her heirloom passed on to her son Cosimo III de Medici. Some twenty years ago, the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Urbino acquired an ivory inlaid ebony cabinet with an intricate pattern of intertwined boughs of oak, the botanical name for which in Italian is rovere: it is thought that it was made and decorated for the occasion of Francesco Maria and Livia della Rovere's wedding in 1599 with their shared heraldic emblem, the oak tree. A similarly decorated table of the same provenance was sold at Sotheby's, London, 6 July 2010, lot 4. On this occasion, A. Gonzales-Palacios recalled in the catalogue notice how much the Duke was interested in furniture and decorative objects: at the end of 1586 he noted in his diary that the Duke of Bavaria had sent him a small picture of Adam and Eve, "intagliato in legno di rilievo" – "carved in wood in relief" and a "calamaro intarsiato d'avolio con molte figure" –  an "inkwell, inlaid with ivory and many figures". As his heraldic emblem and initials bespeak on the escutcheon, there is no doubt that this small cabinet was made for him on purpose, combining precious Indian ivory plaques with a European type of furniture.

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