Extremely rare box decorated on all sides in violet wood veneer in end grain *, ebony and ivory.
The outer side features an ivory checkers and chess set against a cross-brace background, while the inner apron features a luxurious game of backgammon.
The bands numbered up to twelve and the holes in the edges of the apron finely engraved with rosettes.
Ivory arrows edged with fine ebony threads and ebony arrows edged with ivory threads.
The hinges and the push-button lock in finely chiseled and gilded brass.
The box contains many original pieces including two horn goblets, two ivory dice, and thirty-nine checkers' pawns (twenty white and nineteen black points).
The pawns stamped on both sides with effigies of cities (Munich, Vienna, Nuremberg, Prague, Danzig…) of kings and queens (Prussia, England, Scotland, Poland…) and various scenes.
They are attributable to the German sculptor and medalist Martin Brunner (Nuremberg 1659-1725).
Perfect state of conservation.
Work in the Augsburg workshops of the early 18th century.
Provenance: English aristocratic collection.
Height: 10.5 cm; Width: 49 cm; Depth: 36 cm
* End grain: In joinery or marquetry, end grain corresponds to the cutting of a section of wood into a washer giving a pattern of veins of equal spacing.
End grain is therefore sawn perpendicular to the grain or fibers, or cut transversely in the log. The section is said to be end grain, as opposed to wire wood cutting.
Our opinion :
With the complexity of its precious wood veneer on all sides and its decorated tokens, our box displays incredible luxury down to the smallest detail.
Coming from an English aristocratic collection probably since the 18th century, it is one of the few boxes that have come down to us intact and practically complete.
He is a very fine example of the tablettering talent of the Augsburg and Nuremberg workshops; these two centers competed in ingenuity from the 16th century onwards to offer wealthy clients the finest cabinets and boxes.
Chatoyancy of woods, contrast of the most precious materials and meticulousness of detail perfectly characterize these productions which went far beyond the borders of their province of origin.