A rather unusual presentation for a heavy marble casket, since we usually think of pietra dura caskets of marble marquetry like those done in Italy. But this is heavy slab marble set into a generous framework of bronze or brass/bronze alloy, yet the panels have been deeply incised and then painted in the recesses. It is a rather unique handling I have not run across before this one. It's a real beauty, however, and is large in scale like the large French opaline sugar caskets which, by the way, look wonderful displayed alongside this one. The interior is lined in silk satin, however, so it was not originally a sugar casket as I initially posited. The working lock has its original ornate key installed as you see it, and it an added decorative touch to the elegant casket.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, perhaps a small amount of color missing on the top panel, or darkened by an accumulation of dirt and subsequent cleaning, the colors are bright on all side panels and really do enrich the casket's otherwise stark black marble facade. A brilliant and unique design, I have not seen this done before this one - unsure if it's from France (where we bought it) or from Italy, where the marble coffrets are typically worked in marquetry/mosaic. Photos show all - look it over. All 5 rectangular panels of thick heavy marble are without damage or chip or crack. No restorations evident anywhere, either. It is heavy like a rock!
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