Casket

1370-1390 (made)
Casket thumbnail 1
Casket thumbnail 2
+7
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This casket is made by the Workshop of the Nailed Figures, made in North Italy, probably in about 1370-1390. The Workshop of the Nailed Figures in Northern (bottega a figure inchiodate) was so called by Elena Merlini and reflects on the fact that the members of the group share a characteristic method of manufacture, the figured plaques being attached with round-headed and gilded nails to the wooden core.
The subject matter is enigmatic. Although the scenes on three faces of the casket are of a generic nature, concerned with hunting, the panel on the front appears to form part of an unidentified narrative.





object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Ivory, bone, horn and fruit wood on a core of silver fir
Brief Description
Casket, ivory, bone, horn and wood on a core of silver fir, probably by the Workshop of the Nailed Figures, North Italy, probably about 1370-1390
Physical Description
The oblong casket has a hipped roof and flat sides, with ivory panels rather than bone plaques. The panels are fixed to the carcase with round-headed metal nails.

The front plaque represents a scene in the forest with two men with swords advancing towards a lion which is crouching beside a mauled man; On the far right two other men appear to be going for help. The scene is framed by two small columns. The plaque on the back represents in the left half two men attacking a boar with lance and battle-axe and, in the right half, another two stalking a stag with bow and arrow and a hound. This scene is also framed by two small columns. On the left end two men advance with lance and axe upon a lion mauling a deer. On the right end, a man attacks a deer with a lance (there is a boar below the deer which is crouching on a rock) while a second figure blows a horn. The lid is decorated with marquetry of bone and ebony. There is an escutcheon at either end and roundel containing geometric ornament in the centre front and back. On the top of the lid is a metal handle.
Dimensions
  • Not including handle height: 17.2cm
  • Width: 30.3cm
  • Depth: 15.2cm
  • Including handle height: 20cm
Object history
Acquired by Dr W.L. Hildburgh in London in 1929; subsequnetly placed on loan to the Museum and given by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh in 1952.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This casket is made by the Workshop of the Nailed Figures, made in North Italy, probably in about 1370-1390. The Workshop of the Nailed Figures in Northern (bottega a figure inchiodate) was so called by Elena Merlini and reflects on the fact that the members of the group share a characteristic method of manufacture, the figured plaques being attached with round-headed and gilded nails to the wooden core.

The subject matter is enigmatic. Although the scenes on three faces of the casket are of a generic nature, concerned with hunting, the panel on the front appears to form part of an unidentified narrative.







Bibliographic References
  • Williamson, Paul and Davies, Glyn, Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200-1550, (in 2 parts), V&A Publishing, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2014part II, pp. 788-791
  • Williamson, Paul and Davies, Glyn, Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200-1550, (in 2 parts), V&A Publishing, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2014, part II, pp. 788-791, cat. no. 263
Collection
Accession Number
A.23-1952

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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