oak veneered with ebony, mounted on all four sides and lid with rectangular slate plaques inlaid with lapis, agate, and marble; design of flowers tied with ribbons, a parrot and butterflies, ormolu leaf sprays on sides, corners have female masks in agate with ormolu ribbons

Jewelry box, c. 1730

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Pietre dure (hard stones) describes inlay made from such brightly colored stones as lapis lazuli, agate, and jasper. The stones are carefully cut and polished, then fitted together to form intricate designs. Although practiced since antiquity, the art of pietre dure was revived during the late 1500s at the Medici workshop in Florence, which continues in operation today. In 1695, the sculptor and architect Giovanni Battista Foggini became director of the workshop and designed many pietre dure objects for Cosimo III de’ Medici to give as gifts to other members of the European nobility. Foggini’s drawings for the floral panels on this jewelry box are in Florence at the Uffizi Gallery.

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Details
Title
Jewelry box
Artist Life
Italian, 1652–1725
Role
Designer
Accession Number
86.85
Curator Approved

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oak veneered with ebony, mounted on all four sides and lid with rectangular slate plaques inlaid with lapis, agate, and marble; design of flowers tied with ribbons, a parrot and butterflies, ormolu leaf sprays on sides, corners have female masks in agate with ormolu ribbons