A 17th century, Italian, Baroque style cassone
The lid painted with a central cartouche enclosing a tree, flanked on each side by grotesque-like decoration, including masks, dolphins and foliate scrolls, the conforming sides with wrought iron carrying handles, the inverse breakfront painted with a panel depicting the vestal virgin Tuccia bringing a sieve of water to the temple, flanked on each side by a lion’s mask holding a fruiting pendant on carved mask feet.
128cm wide x 53cm deep x 65.5cm high
Tuccia was a priestess who was responsible for the eternal fire at the temple of Vesta in Rome. She was falsely accused of breaking her vow of chastity and to disprove this calumny she called on the gods to help her perform the miracle of carrying a sieve full of water to the temple. There is what appears to be the remnants of an old catalogue entry on the back of this cassone.
Sold for £1,500
Later lock and strap hinges. Remains of original ring and staple hinges. Later sections, including 13cm (at its largest) x 82cm triangular section back right of top, plinth, back feet, constructional brackets and left front foot. 24cm x 6cm replaced on back of cassone to the left of the right hinge. Elements frassed, including around this patch. Evidence of old woodworm present. Right pendant lacking bow and left lacking left side of bow. Very chipped and cracked all over, including 9cm diagonal crack on the right of the painted panel. Overall distressed and with old restorations to paint work, as well as woodwork.