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.