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Maker(s) &

Embriachi family, workshop, workshop, Italian carvers, 15th c., Italy, North Italy


The attribution needs investigation. Probably a wedding casket.


sculpture; boxes (containers)




circa 1400 circa 1430




early 15th Century


Wood covered with bone plaques and ornamented with intarsia. The lower part is hexagonal. The pyramidal cover is surmounted by a knob of twelve faces with the original metal mount and ring. A curved frieze in six sections runs round the foot of the cover, on which are winged genii on a ground of foliage, those on the front supporting a plain shield and the one on the back holding in his left hand a 'flying-fish';. Each side of the casket has two plaques, each carved with two figures standing under a little mushroom-shaped tree. These plaques seem to illustrate a story derived from the literature of the Romance. At each corner is placed a spirally fluted column with capitals decorated with a double row of primitive acanthus leaves.


carving; whole


wood (plant material); casket
bone; decoration
metal; mount


wood, covered with bone plaques, and ornamented with intarsia


height, whole, 24.5, cm
width, whole, 23.0, cm


given; 1935; Holden-White, Charles


Unknown before donor


Cf. A large octagonal casket decorated with figures telling the story of Jason, in the Musée de Cluny, inv. no. CL 374, attributed to Venice, 15th century, workshop of the Embriachi.
Cf. A rectangular casket with the history of Helias, formerly Sommerard collection, inventory number CL 375; and a smaller rectangular casket from the Sommerard collection, inventory number CL 452.

Acquisition Credit:

Given by Charles Holden-White


inscription; on bottom; in ink; 92756
inscription; on bottom; scratched; Andrea Pisano; earlier attribution to sculptor
label; on bottom; inscribed; By Embriacho circa 1420; attribution


Sotheby's. 1995. European Sculpture and Works of Art.London: Sotheby'sp. p. 12
Cf. A hexagonal marriage casket attributed to the Embriachi Workshop, early 15th century, p. 12, lot 9. (Estimate £5,000-8,000) This has scenes on the sides, either from the story of Paris or that of Mattabruna, both of which involve abandonned children.

Randall, Richard H. Jr.. 1985. Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery.New York: p. pp. 196-7
Cf. A hexagonal casket decorated with the life of Paris, and described as a marriage casket, see colour pl. 78 on p. 196, text on p. 197, and see p. 236, Cat. No. 355. Attributed to the Embriachi workshop, Venice, early 15th century. Reference is made to others in the Museo Civico Bologna, see J. Schlosser, 'Die Werkstatt der Embriachi in Venedig', Jahrbuch des Allerhochsten Kaiserhauses, 1899, 220-282.

Theuerkauff, Christian. 1984. Elfenbein, Sammlung Reiner Winkler.Munich: p. pp. 45-7
Cf. A hexagonal casket with male and female figures round the main register, and putti among foliage on the lid, similar to those on the Fitzwilliam Museum and Walters Art Gallery boxes, pp. 45-7, cat. no. 17, ill. p. 46. Attributed to Venice, Workshop of the Embriacchi? mid-15th century. The author refers to other caskets and gives bibliography for them.

Dalton, Ormonde Maddock. Catalogue of the Ivories of the British Museum.London: p. p. 136
Ref. see p. 136

Schlosser, Julius. Die Werkstatt der Embriachi in Venedig.
Source Title: Jahrbuch des Allerhochsten Kaiserhauses(1899)

Cf. Similar objects in the Museo Civico, Bologna, 220-282

Tomasi, Michele. Baldassarre Ubriachi, le maïtre, le public.Colmar, Paris:
Source Title: Revue de l'Art 134 (2001-4) : 51-60
p. 51-60
Ref. For the Ubriachi family


Object Number: M.3-1935
(Applied Arts)
(record id: 31815; input: 2001-07-16; modified: 2018-10-17)


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