Pietra dura ebony jewel casket to headline Bonhams' October 28 sale

An Italian relief pietra dura- and gilt bronze-mounted ebony jewel casket will lead Bonhams' Fine European Furniture and Decorative Arts sale in San Francisco on October 28 with an $80,000-120,000 estimate.

Pietra dura casket
Jewel caskets would often be presented as diplomatic gifts

The previously unrecorded box dates to the early 18th century and originates from the Grand Ducal Workshops of Florence, which were owned by the House of Medici. It features elaborately-designed panels made up of coloured and polished stone.  

Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652-1755) was the director of the Medici workshops at the time, and was an enthusiastic proponent of the pietra dura technique.

French furniture will also feature, including a selection from the collection of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.

One highlight will undoubtedly be a carved Louis XVI giltwood console d'applique by Georges Jacob, which carries an estimate of $40,000-60,000.

Giltwood console Louis
The Georges Jacob table dates to the late 18th century

Jacob (1739-1813) is considered one of the finest furniture makers of his era, who worked on commissions for Marie Antoinette and other members of the French royal court.

A set of eight directoire chairs from the same collection will be offered as a single lot with a $50,000-80,000 estimate. Dating to the late 18th century, they feature satyr shaped legs that end in cloven hooves.

A pair of Louis XIV-style gilt bronze- and boulle marquetry-mounted ebonised encoignures aux quatre saisons are valued at $50,000-80,000.

The corner cabinets, produced in the style of Andre Charles Boulle, feature depictions of the four seasons in black and gold.

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