Skip to content

Moretti Offers Impressive 15th Century Cassone Panel at the Biennale des Antiquaires

August 14, 2012

A 15th cassone panel painted with ‘A battle Scene’, 45.4 x 160.4 cm.

Moretti Fine Art, with galleries in Florence, London and New York, will be offering a spectacularly detailed cassone, or marriage chest, panel at the Biennale des Antiquaires in September.  To judge by the work’s level of accomplishment, it was created for the marriage of a very notable couple (and not something you’d find at Crate & Barrel’s bridal registry).  Additional information from the press release followed by three details (click to enlarge):

An impressive panel from a 15th century Italian marriage chest, or cassone, will be unveiled by Moretti Fine Art at the Biennale des Antiquaires (Stand N15) which takes place at the Grand Palais from Friday 14 to Sunday 23 September 2012. The panel is painted with a battle scene and recent cleaning has revealed its extraordinary quality, suggesting that the cassone was made for a nobleman of considerable standing and further study is currently being undertaken into its early history.

The panel has a notable provenance having presumably been acquired by Alexander, Lord Lindsay, later 25th Earl of Crawford and 8th of Balcarres (1812-1880). It then passed to his son and heir, James, and then to David, 27th Earl of Crawford and 10th of Balcarres who sold it at a London auction house in 1946 as a complete cassone, the front panel described as ‘classical battle scene in the manner of the Master of the Cassone’. It was then in the collection of Sir Thomas Merton, F.R.S. (1888-1969), the English scientist, inventor and art connoisseur and collector until sold again at in 1979 as by the Master of the Anghiari Battle.

Marriage in Renaissance Italy involved huge expenditure both by the groom and the bride’s family. A patrician husband would buy clothes, jewels and textiles for his new wife and would often refurnish his suite of rooms in the family palazzo. Among the most significant items commissioned at the time of marriage were pairs of richly decorated chests. These large painted and gilded chests, generally called cassoni, were used to store precious items such as clothes. They were also among the most magnificent and costly items of furniture found in Florentine palaces as illustrated by this splendid example.

DETAIL (left side) A 15th century cassone panel painted with ‘A battle Scene’, 45.4 x 160.4 cm. (click to enlarge).

DETAIL (center) A 15th century cassone panel painted with ‘A battle Scene’, 45.4 x 160.4 cm. (click to enlarge).

DETAIL (right) A 15th century cassone panel painted with ‘A battle Scene’, 45.4 x 160.4 cm. (click to enlarge).

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: