Rare and precious Venetian box in finely lacquered wood, late 16th-early 17th century.
The lacquer arrived in Venice by the silk route, by merchants and Catholic missionaries who exalted its beauty.
These objects, made of light wood, often Swiss stone pine, were carefully sanded and prepared with a very thin layer of special putty. Once the preparation was dried and smoothed, we moved on to the decoration: in our case, gold leaf parts (the golden parts), silver leaf parts (the red, green and mecca), tempera and a thin sand alternate gilded made with microscopic brass plates. Finally, the actual lacquering began: this materialized by superimposing several layers of paint (the lacquer, in fact; up to thirty layers, in the most precious pieces) and taking care to let each layer dry and smooth before applying the next. Meticulous and very long operations that could take a few years of work and that had to be carried out in the most complete shelter from any speck of dust, to the point that, it is said, the most scrupulous lacquers performed the last operations in the middle of a body of water .
If the technique of making this box certainly brings us to Venice, its rich vignette decoration remains difficult to interpret: some characters, in particular the side where the dragon figure is found, recall China. Others wear typical clothes from the Ottoman Empire. Of course, it is a rare object, of great executive finesse, in which precious materials such as gold and silver leaf have been used in profusion. The internal part also has a magnificent red lacquer with golden decorations.
The state of conservation, in compliance with the age of the box, is optimal.
cm 24 x 15
H cm 10.5
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