17th Century or earlier Italian Gilt Gothic Decorated Walnut Cassone Chest

£ 7500

Gilt and polychrome decorated standing on a high moulded plinth with Gothic architectural elements, such as a pointed arc, flanked by rose windows. The removable and useful inner panel (recently re upholstered) allows for the underside of top to be displayed to its full.
H 64 – W 118 – D 54 cm


A cassone or marriage chest was a rich and showy Italian type of chest. The cassone was one of the trophy furnishings of rich merchants and aristocrats in Italian culture, from the Late Middle Ages onward. The cassone was the most important piece of furniture of that time. It was given to a bride and placed in the bridal suite. It would be given to the bride during the wedding, and it was the bride’s parents’ contribution to the wedding.
A typical place for such a cassone was in a chamber at the foot of a bed that was enclosed in curtains. Such a situation is a familiar setting for depictions of the Annunciation or the Visitation of St. Anne to the Virgin Mary. In a culture where chairs were reserved for important personages, often pillows scattered upon the floor of a chamber provided informal seating, and a cassone could provide both a backrest and a table surface.