$ 5,500

Tuscan Work Box, 15th Century

Origin Italy
Period Pre 18th Century
Materials Painted Beach wood
W. 4.25 in; H. 11 in;
W. 10.8 cm; H. 27.94 cm;
Condition Good.
Description Painted beech wood (faggio) work box (scatola di lavoro)
Tuscany, circa 1690-1710
Size: 4 ¼” high x 11” diameter

Circular in form, this large box was made of beech wood, with sidepieces, for the lid and base, steamed and bent into shape. The plain wooden surface was painted loosely in white, yellow and gray to depict highly stylized scrolling foliate motifs, all on a yellowish orange glazed ground. The top of the lid is centered by an elongated heart painted white, from which all of the foliage emanates.
Similar in concept and construction to the poplar sweet meat boxes, yet more base in its origin and ornament, this workbox was intended to hold sewing and other materials used for women’s work. Of type popular in Tuscany since the early Renaissance, similarly constructed boxes appear on bedroom and study shelves in fifteenth and sixteenth century paintings (see P. Thornton, The Italian Renaissance Interior, 1400-1600, New York, 1991, no. 210). The frivolity of the scrolling motifs on this box helps to date it at the end of the seventeenth century.
Styles / Movements Traditional
Dealer Reference Number box 37
Incollect Reference Number 293006
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