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    Sale 7568

    Seven Centuries: Italian Works of Art From Palazzo Odescalchi, Rome

    8 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 379

    A RECTANGULAR EBONY-VENEERED, GILT-BRONZE-MOUNTED AND PIETRA DURA-INLAID CASKET

    GRAND DUCAL WORKSHOPS, FLORENCE, THE PANELS EARLY 18TH CENTURY, THE CASKET LATER

    Price Realised  

    A RECTANGULAR EBONY-VENEERED, GILT-BRONZE-MOUNTED AND PIETRA DURA-INLAID CASKET
    GRAND DUCAL WORKSHOPS, FLORENCE, THE PANELS EARLY 18TH CENTURY, THE CASKET LATER
    The hinged lid with a pietra dura panel of a bird sitting on a branch, the body with four further panels of foliage; with gilt bronze mounts to the corners and elaborate feet; the underside of the lid decorated with a further panel; minor chips and losses, the interior relined
    11¼ x 17½ x 12 1/8 in. (28.5 x 44.5 x 30.8 cm.)


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    The elaborate pietra dura panels set into the casket offered here, are similar to those executed in circa 1720 by Baccio Cappelli for the Badminton Cabinet, and can be firmly attributed to the Grand Ducal workshops in Florence. A whole array of pietra dura-inlaid objects were made under the supervision of Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652-1725) who was director of the workshops under Cosimo III (1670-1723).

    The spectacular creations of the Galleria dei Lavori, were admired throughout the courts of Europe, and were often given as diplomatic gifts by the Medici. Louis XIV strove to inspire the same levels of admiration when he created the Gobelins workshops in 1667, and went as far as importing Italian craftsmen such as Domenico Cucci to run them.

    Foggini played a remarkably active role as director of the Medici workshops under Cosimo III, supervising every detail of the works of art produced. This is demonstrated by a series of drawings by him in the Giornale of the workshops, for caskets and gilt-bronze mounts, executed towards the end of his career (circa 1713-1718), now in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe in the Uffizi, Florence (González-Palacios, loc. cit., pp. 54-60, figs 57-77).

    Although the present casket bears close similarities to a number of caskets that were produced in the Grand Ducal workshops, it relates most closely to another example in the Los Angeles County Museum (Massinelli, loc. cit.) that is also formed from a 19th century carcass with 18th century pietra dura panels.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Literature

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    A. Gonzáles-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto, Milan, 1984 , I, pp. 41-4, II, pp. 54-60, figs. 57-77.
    A.-M. Massinelli, The Gilbert Collection - Hardstones, London, 2000, p. 48, no. 8.