Origin: North Italian
Period: Renaissance
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1620
Height: 28”
Width: 63”
Depth: 26” (all at extremities)

The large pine coffer or marriage chest (Cassone), having a beautiful faded and sun-bleached pine carcass, taken on pink hues, the two plank top opening to reveal a vacant interior with later lid rest, the flanks with carved baluster pilasters and fielded panelled front and sides having the original ornate iron plate pierced escutcheon with leather remnants, the whole on a plinth base and standing on generously sized lions paw feet surviving from Renaissance period Italy.

In desirable original and dry aged condition, there is considerable wear commensurate with age to the pine, with old woodworm and gnarled losses to the extremities, expected given the softness of the wood and the four hundred years of use. The colour to the front is darker with the piece probably having positioned in a very light area for many years, the top being more sun bleached than the rest of the carcass. The interior is very clean and remarkably untouched.

In Renaissance Italy, betrothal and marriage were celebrated with commemorative works of art. These objects were frequently elaborate, marking as they did the joining of a couple, while also demonstrating alliances between powerful families. Particularly significant were cassoni, large storage chests typically used to hold the bride’s dowry.

In mid 15th-century Florence, these chests were sometimes paraded through the city in wedding processions. As part of the domestic interior, the chests were designed to complement the other furnishings in the new couple’s bedchamber.

A beautiful early piece of furniture in beautifully time worn and original condition.