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    Sale 7433

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    8 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 40



    Price Realised  


    Inlaid overall with geometric motifs, the rectangular moulded top centred by a roundel, various circlets, lozenges and foliate scrolls, the front carved with a central panel depicting a coat-of arms with a crowned eagle framed by two mermaids, flanked by star-inlaid panels with entrelac, flanked by pointed trees issuing from planters, on foliate-carved moulded plinth and shaped feet, the central coat-of-arms probably added in the 19th Century and with consequential constructional changes including the carved mouldings and feet
    25¾ in. (65.5 cm.) high; 64¾ in. (164.5 cm.) wide; 23 in. (58.5 cm.) deep

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    This splendid cassone is intricately-inlaid with alla certosina marquetry. This term originates from the Certosa di Pavia (or Charterhouse of Pavia), the famous Lombardy monastery complex built around 1396-1465 where this technique is said to have developed. A closely related early 16th century cassone is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (ill. F. Schittmüller, Wohnungskultur und Möbel der Italienishen Renaissance, Stuttgart, 1921, p. 43, fig. 88).

    A.González-Palacios points out an intriguing feature of the present example, the elongated floral sprays issuing from urns to the front panels, which motifs can be found on the Rijksmuseum cassone, and on two further cassoni, sold, Sotheby's, London, 30 November 1990, lot 40, and Sotheby's, London, the Peter Zervudachi Collection, 10-11 June 1998, lot 259. According to A.González-Palacios, these distinctive elements, which also feature on a related cassone in the Schloßßmuseum of Berlin, (ill. F. Schittmüller, Op. Cit., p. 43, fig. 86) were recurrent motifs on 16th Century Turkish carpets and Iznik pottery, and may have been the source of inspiration for this type of marquetry (A.González-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto: La Toscana e l'Italian Settentrionale, Milan, 1986, vol. I, p.309).

    Further related cassoni include one in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (ill. in Italian Cassoni from the Art Collections of Soviet Museums, Leningrad, 1983, pl. 133), and another in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (ill. in Victoria & Albert Museum: Fifty Masterpieces of Woodwork, London, 1955, pl. 10).

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