This richly decorated casket, with its intricate Biblical scenes worked in colourful silks and a lavish variety of stitches and needlework techniques, would have made a stunning centerpiece on the writing table of a grand personage of the Restoration era in England. Interestingly, The Story of Joseph can be seen on another casket of this kind of date in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum and illustrated on the cover of English Embroidery From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580-1700. The side panels of both caskets show the 'Dream of Pharaoh' bedroom scene, apparently from the same print source. Taken together, these two caskets illustrate that highly skilled professional workshops both created these caskets and also disseminated designs. For a discussion of the role of professionals in casket making, see Kathleen Staples, Metropolitan Museum of Art, English Embroidery, Chapter 2, p. 29.
The book mark found in the casket, presumably also worked by the unknown Jean Morris, can be compared to that illustrated in Seligman & Hughes, Domestic Needlework, plate XVI, Item D, catalogued as English, circa 1620-50. See also plate XXII, Item I, a quill pen; Plate XXX for a casket with The Story of Joseph in the Percival Griffiths Collection.
The print that lines the box is signed Aubrey, presumably John Aubrey (1626-97), well-known chronicler of the Restoration era, or perhaps his father, known as a decorative painter.