A Superb Chalcedony and Onyx Hard-Stone Silver Mounted Casket

A Superb Chalcedony and Onyx Hard-Stone Silver Mounted Casket

1700 to 1800 German

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A Superb Chalcedony and Onyx Hard-Stone Silver Mounted Casket
1st half of the 18th Century
Size : 13 cm high, 11 cm wide, 8.5 cm deep – 5 ins high, 4¼ ins wide, 3¼ ins deep
cf A very similar casket formerly in the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, now in the Kings Gallery of the British Museum, London, described as ?Artificia Curiosities? ??..some represent ?miracles? of nature turned into objects useful to man : ?.. translucent agate made into a casket ?..?
During the Renaissance it was virtually imperative that ambitious Kunstkammer collections include outstanding examples of agate wares. The famous Milanese workshop of the Saracchi family was kept busy actively producing such treasures in hard-stone and rock crystal, from around 1570 until well into the 17th century.
In an inventory of 1713 Louis XIV of France owned 377 hard-stone vases including 142 made of agate, 65 of jasper, 32 of jade and 14 of lapis-lazuli. Some of these were Roman or Byzantine in origin and some 16th century, but the majority were contemporary and made under his patronage.
Many Italian craftsmen entered the service of foreign courts. Gasparo Miseroni, one of the most talented and sought after hard-stone artists worked for both the Medici in Florence and the Habsburg’s in Vienna, whilst his brothers worked for the court in Madrid, and other Miseroni family members worked for the melancholic and avid collector Emperor Rudolf II in Prague.
Height 13.00 cm (5.12 inches)
Width 11.00 cm (4.33 inches)
Depth 8.50 cm (3.35 inches)
Silver and Chalcedony
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