Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Casket

Maker:
Attributed to Michel Redlin (German, documented 1688)
Date:
ca. 1680
Culture:
Polish, Gdansk (Danzig)
Medium:
Amber, gold foil, gilt brass, wood, silk satin, paper
Dimensions:
11 13/16 × 13 × 8 1/4 in. (30 × 33 × 21 cm); Pedestal: 15 x 24 in. (38.1 x 61 cm)
Classification:
Natural Substances
Credit Line:
Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 2006
Accession Number:
2006.452a–c
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 551
During the Renaissance and the Baroque eras, amber, a fossilized tree resin known as the "gold of the Baltic Sea," was regarded as a substance of mythical origin with magical powers. This precious casket is a true Kunstkammer object; its architectural design and decoration are related to a drawing by Michel Redlin, documented as an amber carver in Gdansk in 1688. Three types of amber were used: opaque, translucent, and a milky variant. Landscapes and pastoral scenes were engraved into the amber surface from behind.
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