Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Casket (cassetta)

late 15th century
Italian, Ferrara
Molded gesso on partly gilt wood (pastiglia)
3 1/8 × 4 1/8 × 6 3/8 in. (7.9 × 10.5 × 16.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 500
Molded pastiglia, a composition consisting of either gesso or pulverized white lead with an egg binder to which musk was added, was applied to the surface of small caskets and deliberately left ungilt and unpainted, so that the relief exuded a musky scent. The technique was introduced to Ferrarese craftsmen at the end of the 1440s by a French immigrant, Carlo di Monlione.
J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1917; to MMA)
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