This is a wonderful antique Victorian burr walnut and Pietra Dura stationery casket, circa 1860 in date.
This stunning high-quality casket is rectangular in shape and is made with the finest burr walnut that has splendid figuring. It has two remarkable brass handles inset with Pietra Dura panels depicting attractive floral decoration against a black ground.
The front of the casket features two matching oval Pietra Dura panels with equally exquisite floral decoration of attractive and bright colours including white and light blue.
The hinged lid opens to reveal a superb interior which is lined with a gorgeous light blue fabric.
This glorious casket has plenty of storage and would be ideal for safely storing your stationery , sewing tools or jewellery.
It comes with its perfectly working lock and key.
It is a lovely and practical piece which can add a little bit of character to your stylish interiors.
Excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation of its condition.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 18 x Width 24 x Depth 16
Dimensions in inches:
Height 7.1 x Width 9.4 x Depth 6.3
Burr Walnut refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produce some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.
Pietra dura is a term for the inlay technique of using cut and fitted, highly polished coloured stones to create images. It is considered a decorative art.
Pietre dure is an Italian plural meaning “hard rocks” or hardstones; the singular pietra dura is also encountered in Italian. In Italian, but not in English, the term embraces all gem engraving and hardstone carving, which is the artistic carving of three-dimensional objects in semi-precious stone, normally from a single piece, for example in Chinese jade.
The traditional convention in English has been to use the singular pietra dura just to denote multi-colored inlay work. However, in recent years there has been a trend to use pietre dure as a term for the same thing, but not for all of the techniques it covers, in Italian.
But the title of a 2008 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe used the full Italian sense of the term, probably because they thought that it had greater brand recognition. The material on the website speaks of objects such as a vase in lapis lazuli as being examples of “hardstone carving (pietre dure)”
The Victoria & Albert Museum in London uses both versions on its website, but uses pietra dura. “A method of inlaying coloured marbles or semi-precious stones into a stone base, often in geometric or flower patterns….”
Giovanni Montelatici (1864-1930) was an Italian Florentine artist whose brilliant work has been distributed across the world by tourists and collectors. Owners of Giovanni’s work included Donald Trump.
Our reference: A1050