CASE IN BEVELL decorated with panels in COMMESSO with floral subjects and scene of the Annunciation characteristic of the productions of the Botteghe granducali (Grandducal Workshops of Florence) directed by
GIOVANNI BATTISTA FOGGINI (1652-1725)
Florence, Galleria dei Lavori, first half of the 18th century Ebony, rosewood, yellow wood fillets, fir wood frame, inlaid with hard stones including lapis lazuli, Verona yellow, Sicilian jasper, antique black, Carrara white.... ; gilt bronze and brass
H. 29 cm, L. 44 cm, D. 33 cm
Handwritten inscription in black ink on paper glued to the inside of the lid: Duke of Norfolk
Former Charles Davis Collection
Former Henry Fitzalan-Howard (1847-1917), 15th Duke of Norfolk, Arundel Castle, Sussex, England (acquired from the previous in July 1884, £75)
Christie's sale, Manson and Woods, At Arundel Castle, Sussex, Decorative Furniture, Objects of Art and Pictures - The Property of His Grace The Duke of Norfolk, K.G., September 19, 1945, lot 79
Simon Swynfens Jervis, "Pietre dure caskets in England," Furniture History, vol. 43 (2007), p. 251, no. 21 and p. 255, note 62. Published in the book in honor of Jeffrey de B Alvar Gonzalez-Palacios, Las colecciones reales españolas de mosaicos y piedras duras, Museo Nacional Del Prado
This exceptional Florentine case, made of ebony and hardstone inlay, comes from the former collection of the Dukes of Norfolk who acquired it from Charles Davis in 1884. It rests on four moving gilt bronze legs.
Each side is decorated with hard stone panels with floral subjects typical of the baroque repertoire of the commessi grand-ducal of Florence. Its cover presents a cartouche with the busts of the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary in medallions, separated by a white lily, following the model of the Annunciation in the tympanum of the Basilica of the
Santissima Annunziata (fig. 1).
The famous mosaic by Davide Ghirlandaio has been reinterpreted by the Florentine Manufacture. It can be found on an ornate wall plaque, richly decorated with bronzes, sent in 1720 to Augusta Sibylla of Baden-Baden for the "Florentine Zimmer" of her villa La Favorite in Förch near Rastatt (fig. 2). The plaque, now in the Karlsruhe Museum, was executed under the direction of Foggini, with the participation of Francesco Borghese. The Margrave was related by her sister to the Medici family, who, like Como III, continued to offer the sumptuous creations of the Galleria dei Lavori to the most notable European courts.
Another Annunciation is in the collection of the Museo dell'Opifico delle Pietre Dure (fig. 3).
It is, as here, surrounded by blue and yellow acanthus scrolls, interspersed with flowers au naturel.
Henry Fitzalan-Howard (1847-1917), 15th Duke of Norfolk, titled Baron Maltravers until 1856 and Earl of Arundel and Surrey between 1856 and 1860, was a British Unionist politician and philanthropist.
He served as Postmaster General between 1895 and 1900, but is best remembered for his philanthropic work, which focused on Roman Catholic causes and the city of Sheffield. He was the eldest son of Henry Fitzalan-
Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk, and Augusta Mary Minna
Catherine, youngest daughter of Edmund Lyons, 1st Baron
Lyons. Norfolk succeeded to the dukedom at the age of 12 upon his father's death on November 25, 1860. He also succeeded to the hereditary office of Earl Marshal held by the Dukes of Norfolk.