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Golden box

Belloni family

Small box with opening top, slightly convex urn front with shaped shelf support, decorated on the front with carved tablet, while the rest of the object is simply painted. The front started with four pilasters that create three reserves, the two lateral pilasters have two twisted columns on a blue background, the central pilasters are instead painted with gold candelabra and traces of color on a blue background.
In the two lateral reserves, carved bas-relief in the tablet, two poles around which oak branches twist; in the central reserve a four-lobed motif with flowers and crosses on the sides contains a laurel wreath with a bow on which a heraldic coat of arms is hung.

The blazon, a gold band accompanied by 2 circles of the same placed in a bar all over blue, corresponds to the emblem of the Belloni family of Venice. In the frame below the floor a motif with successive leaves is painted, on the sides as on the foot a simple border with a large blue field; unfortunately the painting of the top is completely lost.

Dimensions: 28x56x25cm
Cassina dorata
Inspect the object

Historical stylistic analysis

It is believed that the painted or decorated and gilded boxes were furnishings that accompanied the bride’s dowry as a wedding gift. There are the large cases commonly known as trousseau and the rarer boxes, considered jewelry boxes. For some time now, great discussions have troubled scholars on placing the production of this typical Renaissance furniture in Florence or Venice; more likely they were made in various cities with slightly different characteristics, so much so that we have crates with the front painted by Florentine but also Venetian artists and similarly it had to work for those worked on pastille and painted. The coat of arms of the Belloni family should remove us from the embarrassment, it is in fact a Venetian family.
There is no doubt about the rarity of the Renaissance object and the state of conservation which presents decorations that are fully consistent with the ornaments of the time and places the object in the 16th century.

Cassina dorata

Clelia Alberici writes “… The stucco decoration, called the pastille, is a mixture of plaster, glue and sometimes marble dust to make it more homogeneous, spread with a brush on a thin canvas fixed to the wood. The pad is modeled as a bas-relief by means of graffiti needles or on molds, then painted and gilded. This technique was widely used in the Renaissance to adorn boxes, bonnets and frames with subtle reliefs. Given the fragility of the pastille, the Venetian caissons received are few and fit into the classicist orientations of the Lombard and Venetian sculpture between the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century … rectangular boxes were decorated in rice paste tablets …. “

Published in the Alberici volume we find a couple of very similar chests with a convex front protruding one like this and a shelf below.


Clelia Alberici, Il Mobile Veneto, ed. Electa 1980

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