Palazzo Capponi delle Rovinate, Florence, located across the Arno River from the Galleria degli Uffizi, was completed in 1411 for Nicolo da Uzzano, and was inherited by the Capponi family in 1435. The last surviving branch of the family - famous for the spirited challenge made by their ancestor Piero Capponi to a French invasion in 1494 - still resides in the palace to this day.
By repute this cassone was in the renowned Contini-Bonacossi collection. The collection belonged to Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi, who resided in the Villa Pratello Orsini, previously of the Strozzi familly, which Count Alessandro re-baptized Villa Vittoria (today it is the Palazzo dei Congressi), before much it passed to the State and the Uffizi collection. It comprised and impressive group of Old Master paintings, important early maiolica and Renaissance furniture.
Decorated with its rich double-scrolled pattern below a band of paterae, this cassone relates very closely to one in the Museo Horne, Florence (A.M. Massinelli, Il Mobile Toscano, Milan, 1993, p. 50, fig. 73), while another incorporating angles with related carving and a central coat-of-arms surrounded by a laurel-wreath from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Percy A. Rockefeller was sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 11/12 March 1938, lot 102. It is interesting to note the frequent use of bold Mannerist scrolls on furniture of the period. Similar scrolls feature on a cassapanca, previously in the Bardini collection, Florence (W. Odom, A History of Italian Furniture, New York, 1966, p. 285, fig. 272), another more elaborate cassapanca in the Palazzo Davanzati, Florence (S. Colombo, L'Arte del Mobile in Italia, Milan, 1975, fig. 62), a credenza centered by coat-of-arms also in the Bardini collection (Odom, op. cit., p. 232, fig. 216) and the lower sections of two armoires, one in the Bellini collection and the other in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (Colombo, op. cit., figs 65 and 66).