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Old Masters London Highlights Tour

Milan, New York and Hong Kong, March – May 2017

In anticipation of July’s Classic Week, bringing together Old Masters, Antiquities and Decorative Arts auctions, select paintings from the Old Masters sales will be touring Milan, New York and Hong Kong.

This exhibition is your opportunity to view a group of remarkable Tuscan Renaissance Cassone panels, before they are offered at auction in London.


Classic Week

Giovanni di ser Giovanni Guidi, Lo Scheggia (1406–1486), Trajan and the Widow: a cassone panel. Estimate: £400,000–600,000

Tour highlights

Cassoni, literally translated as ‘large chests’, were amongst the most prestigious and luxurious objects made for wealthy patrons in Renaissance Italy. Today, they are valued for the remarkable artistry of their decoration and ornamentation.

As large scale items of furniture, they were used for storage, as seats and sometimes beds. But their uses were not just utilitarian: cassoni were often commissioned in pairs to commemorate the marriages of city and court elite. Their decoration with coats-of-arms and heraldry publically announced alliances between families. In fact, until the mid-15th century, cassoni were often used as part of the final act of the marriage rite, the procession which accompanied the bride and her trousseau (carried in a cassone) from the house of her father to that of her husband. Their abundant gold, silver and figurative decoration also helped display the wealth and status of the patrons.

In a more intimate context, the painted panels were frequently used to portray scenes with a moralising message. Using classical, historical and literary subjects, they illustrated masculine valour and honour and feminine virtue and chastity. 

  • Giovanni Toscani (Florence 1370/80–1430?)

    Scenes from the tale of Ginevra and Bernabò of Genoa and Ambrogiuolo of Piacenza (Boccaccio, Decameron): a cassone front

  • Giovanni di ser Giovanni Guidi, Lo Scheggia (1406–1486)

    Trajan and the Widow: a cassone panel

  • Apollonio di Giovanni (c. 1416–1465)

    The Triumph of Scipio Africanus

  • Attributed to Liberale da Verona (Verona c. 1445–1526/9)

    Tobias and the Angel: a cassone panel

Tour information


New York

  • Viewing

    22–26 April

    20 Rockefeller Plaza
    New York, NY 10020

  • Contact

    Paul Raison
    +44 (0) 20 7389 2086

Hong Kong

  • Viewing

    25–29 May

    Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
    1 Expo Drive
    Wan Chai
    Hong Kong

  • Contact

    John Stainton
    +44 (0) 20 7389 2945

Auction information

  • Auctions

    Old Masters Evening Sale
    6 July, 7pm

    Old Masters Day Sale
    7 July, 10.30am

  • Viewing

    1–6 July

    8 King Street, St James’s
    London SW1Y 6QT