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Marriage Chest (Cassone)

Marriage Chest (Cassone)

early 1500s

Walnut with traces of gilding

Overall: 62.2 x 172 x 55.9 cm (24 1/2 x 67 11/16 x 22 in.)

Bequest of John L. Severance 1942.609

Description

Large storage chests resembling ancient Roman burial vaults-a popular collectible among wealthy families during the Renaissance-were often associated with an important marriage and contained the wife’s dowry of clothes and precious objects. This particular example displays the arms of the Spada Family of Rome amidst a richly carved façade on a gilded ground. Sometimes cassoni were carried in the marital procession from the bride’s home to that of her future husband, emphasizing the power and wealth of both families.

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