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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "A large, museum-quality, late-16th century, cedar, Venetian, cassone on its original stand ; the sea creature ornament probably drawn from De la Cosmographie Universelle, livre III, engraving 1550-1568"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Width 177 cm., 5ft. 10 in., Height 87 cm., 2ft., 10.50 in. Depth 68 cm. 2ft. 2.50 in.
The decoration is very fine, and delightful in the array of sea creatures depicted. The connection of the region with the sea is very strong. It is rare to find a chest from this period retaining its original stand and, in practical terms, the stand makes the chest a comfortable height to use. The exterior of the chest is a beautiful, mellow colour and has developed a lustrous patina.
These chests were made for nobles and aristocrats from cedar specifically for storing their much prized and valued hangings, clothing and linens, since the wood repels moths and the sweet fragrance delicately scents fabrics.
They were often given as bridal chests and the penned initials of the couple often survive in the cartouche on the inner lid. These cassonnes were exported all over Europe and are frequently mentioned in English inventories of the 16th and early 17th century. They came in various sizes and in several qualities. This is a particularly fine specimen
Such cypress or cedar chests, incised in bas relief and pyrographically engraved, have long been associated with Venice. The 'cypress chests' containing 'arras, counterpoints, costely apparel, tents, and canopies, fine linen, Turkey cushions ... pewter and brass, and all things that belong to house of house-keeping' are mentioned in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. One such cypress chest, filled with bed-hangings, was listed in the 1626 Inventory of Cockesden (P. Thornton, 'Two problems', Furniture History, 1971, p. 68). A group of related chests, surviving in English churches, are discussed by Charles Tracy, Continental Church Furniture in England, Woodbridge, 2001, pp. 142-157.
|Height||87.00 cm||(34.25 inches)|
|Width||177.00 cm||(69.69 inches)|
|Depth||68.00 cm||(26.77 inches)|
Mailing address: Bartons Lodge