View full screen - View 1 of Lot 145. An Italian Gilt-Bronze and Amethyst Mounted Pietre Dure and Ebony Casket, Florentine, Grand Ducal Workshops, Late 17th/Early 18th Century.
145

An Italian Gilt-Bronze and Amethyst Mounted Pietre Dure and Ebony Casket, Florentine, Grand Ducal Workshops, Late 17th/Early 18th Century

Property of a Distinguished Private Collection

An Italian Gilt-Bronze and Amethyst Mounted Pietre Dure and Ebony Casket, Florentine, Grand Ducal Workshops, Late 17th/Early 18th Century

An Italian Gilt-Bronze and Amethyst Mounted Pietre Dure and Ebony Casket, Florentine, Grand Ducal Workshops, Late 17th/Early 18th Century

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An Italian Gilt-Bronze and Amethyst Mounted Pietre Dure and Ebony Casket, Florentine, Grand Ducal Workshops, Late 17th/Early 18th Century

The wood case veneered in ebony, mounted on all four sides and the lid with rectangular hardstone plaques inlaid in lapis, agate and marble with flowers and insects interlaced with lapis lazuli ribbons, springing from agate shells within gilt-bronze frames, the faceted corners with amethystine quartz, scrolling ormolu feet, plain interior, veneered in ebony-banded olive wood reserves, steel hinges and lock plate with key.


height 11 1/4 in.; width 16 1/2 in.; depth 12 in.

28.5 cm; 42 cm; 30.5 cm

Some miniscule scratches, hairline cracks, and staining. Overall in good condition. One lacking Amethyst inset at left corner, other Amethyst insets with cracks and tiny corner of an inset chipped, ready to place.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee, and are not responsible for, any certificate from a gemological laboratory that may accompany the lot. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the relevant section the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Sotheby's London, 6 July 2007, lot 90

A. M. Giusti, P. Mazzoni & A. P. Pampelloni Martelli, Il Museo dell'Opificio delle Pietre Dure a Firenze, Milan 1978)

A. Gonzalez-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto: La Toscana e l'Italia Settentrionale, Milan, 1984, vol.I, p.43 and vol.II , nos. 63-66

S. Jervis, 'Pietre Dure Caskets in England', Furniture History XLIII (2007), p.245-65

K.Lankheit, Florentinische Barockplastik, Munich 1962

A. M. Massinelli, The Gilbert Collection Hardstones, London, 2000, 9-20, no. 3

A product of the Florentine Grand Ducal workshops of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, this type of craftsmanship combined the earlier Roman taste for pietre tenere mosaic with Milanese hardstone sculpture. The primary objective of the workshop which comprised artists, architects, painters, stone carvers and metal-smiths was to manufacture opulent furnishings for the Grand Duke's residences and to distribute to foreign royalty as ambassadorial gifts. The court workshop had been set up in the Casino di San Marco, moved to the Uffizi in 1586 and during the seventeenth century continued to develop; it is during this period that we see a stylistic development in Florentine craftsmanship, from the intricacy of Mannerist designs to the bold drama of the Baroque.


Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652-1725) was director of the Florentine Grand Ducal workshops under Duke Cosimo II (1670-1723). Drawings by Foggini in the Giornale of the workshop now in the Uffizi and illustrated by Lankheit and Gonzalez-Palacios show designs for caskets and gilt bronze mounts which can be closely associated with the present finely detailed scroll mounts. From the time of their creation these caskets were actively acquired for princely and aristocratic collections, and examples related to the offered lot include one in the Corsini Collection, Florence (illustrated in Gonzalez-Palacios, fig.63) and another at Charlecote Manor, Warwickshire (illustrated Jervis, fig. 11).