M.S. Rau is committed to offering fine art of the highest caliber and we seek paintings and sculpture by historically renowned artists, often with impressive provenance. The large majority of our works of art come from private. . .
Pietre Dure Casket
- This rare and extraordinary pietre dure casket exemplifies the very best of the best
- Utilizing a 17th-century Florentine pietre dure plaque, this casket is truly a one of a kind
- The plaque is joined by hand-engraved doré bronze mounts on the ebonized casket form
- A perfectly matched, custom-made base accompanies the exceptional piece
- Get complete item description here
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Without question, the materials used in this casket were among the greatest that money could buy, and the absolute highest level of artistry went into its creation. The stones used came from every corner of the globe, and the impeccably lacquered wood indicates the time and care that went into its production. Stunning doré bronze mounts complement the unique stonework. All hardware, from the hinges to the lock, is gold-plated and expertly engraved by hand. The half mortise lock itself is a rare double strike lock, which required a much higher level of skill to manufacture.
The Medici passion for pietre dure led Grand Duke Ferdinando I de Medici to establish the Grand Ducal Workshop in 1588. The workshop became highly specialized in the ancient stonework technique, overcoming the many challenges of fashioning and assembling hardstones. Florentine production reached its zenith during this period, with expert craftsmen giving rise to the most luxurious and detailed examples to ever be produced. Thanks to the mastery of the Florentine craftsmen and the Medici influence, pietre dure peaked the interests of the powerful. Rulers such as the Hapsburgs in Prague, Louis XIV of France and Frederick II of Prussia sought these prized 17th-century works of art for their own collections. Pietre dure came to decorate everything from cabinets and caskets to frames and tiny boxes, often matched with ebony and gilded bronze. Wealthy aristocrats making their Grand Tour through Italy also acquired a taste for Florentine pietre dure; the result was incredible creations such as this impeccable casket.
A very similar Grand Ducal pietre dure casket and stand was once in the British King’s royal bed chamber in Windsor Castle— it is now a prized item in the Royal Collection Trust.
Casket: 24 1/2" wide x 20 1/2" deep x 15" high