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Box

  • Place of origin:

    Italy

  • Date:

    ca. 1650 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    straw marquetry

  • Museum number:

    W.22:1-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This desk box is ornamented with hunting scenes and dates to around 1650. It was made in Italy, which is where straw marquetry is supposed to have originated within Europe.

Straw marquetry is a technique through which an object’s surface is decorated with small pieces of straw to create a pattern. Individual pieces of straw are split and flattened, then glued into place on thin paper on which a design had been drawn. This is then glued to a wooden carcase, which was usually covered first with a thicker paper. The maker could divide the straw into two, four or more strips, depending on the fineness needed for the design. Colour could be added to the surface with various varnishes, which also enhanced the glossy appearance of the marquetry.

Physical description

Box of wood, decorated with designs in straw-work, partly stained.

The slightly sloping lid has in the middle the representation of a boar hunt, bordered by scrollwork terminating in winged demi-figures amid which are medallions containing hunting scenes and cherubs with dolphins. The falling front of the box has the view of a building with persons preparing for the chase, on the back and on each side are hunting scenes. The interior consists of two drawers with an open compartment above.

Place of Origin

Italy

Date

ca. 1650 (made)

Materials and Techniques

straw marquetry

Dimensions

Height: 6.25 in, Width: 11.25 in, Length: 16 in

Object history note

Bought by the owner in Venice.

Descriptive line

Box, decorated with staw marquetry, Italian, c.1650

Labels and date

Desk Box ornamented with hunting scenes
Italian, about 1650
European straw-work is supposed to have originated in Italy; this box is very high quality, both in its design and execution.
[Date uncertain] []

Materials

Straw; Wood

Techniques

Straw marquetry

Categories

Straw Marquetry; Household objects

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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