Chests, Cabinets and Boxes
Gilded wood coffer, Italian, 16th century
This boxwood coffer is carved with conventional foliate relief and is gilded – yet the deep colour of the wood prevails. This coffer was typical of the 16th-century style which evolved in Italian noble houses.
Cabinet, Italian (Ravenna), 17th century
This rosewood cabinet, with ebony veneer and ivory inlay, sports panels set with lapis lazuli, quartz, amber, tortoiseshell and pietra dura. Lapis lazuli is prized for its intensely blue colour; pietra dura is an art involving the interlocking of cut and polished stones.
Cassone (betrothal or wedding chest), Italian, 16th century
In Renaissance Italy, betrothal and marriage were celebrated with commemorative works of art. These objects were frequently elaborate, marking as they did the joining of a couple, while also demonstrating alliances between powerful families. Particularly significant were cassoni, large storage chests typically used to hold the bride’s dowry. In mid 15th-century Florence, these chests were sometimes paraded through the city in wedding processions. As part of the domestic interior, the chests were designed to complement the other furnishings in the new couple’s bedchamber. This decorated cassone is of walnut, with decoration of incised work
Bargueno (cabinet), Spanish, 16th century
This walnut barguero is decorated with gilded and pierced metal ornamentation, behind which is red silk. It is fitted with internal drawers and cupboards; and its studs and drawer handles depict a scalloped shell, emblem of the Camino de Santiago. This cabinet was built specifically for use on this famous pilgrimage.
Chest, Italian, mid 18th century
This decorated chestnut piece boasts lion’s feet to the front and padded feet to the back.
Strong box, English, 17th century
This item, decorated with oyster veneer and rosewood, is lined (appropriately) with iron. It was used as a type of safe to hold important papers, money or other precious material and were used by ship’s captains and bankers.
Cabinet, Dutch, 18th century
The panels in this cabinet are decorated with scenes from scripture, including the Nativity; and the Virgin and Magi.
Coffer, French, early 16th century
This Gothic oak coffer features the royal arms of France.
Bridal coffer, Persian, late 18th century
This coffer features mother-of-pearl and gilt inlays; with brass escutcheons (panels surrounding a lock) and corners. The interior of the box is decorated in lacquer with an image of a deer and doe painted in gold.