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Toilet casket

Date:
1700–1715
Culture:
French
Medium:
Wood veneered with brass, tortoiseshell, tinted horn and mother-of-pearl, rosewood; gilt bronze and steel
Dimensions:
Overall (confirmed): 5 x 13 1/4 x 10 in. (12.7 x 33.7 x 25.4 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Sid R. Bass Gift, in honor of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 2011
Accession Number:
2011.13
Not on view
Known in French as a carré de toilette, this rectangular casket has canted corners and is richly decorated in so-called boulle marquetry of brass inlaid with tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, and tinted horn (contre partie). Containing ribbons, feathers, or other adornments, boxes like this played a role in the elaborate dressing ritual of the past and would have been placed on the dressing table. Similar caskets are depicted in Jean-Marc Nattier’s portrait Madame Marsollier and Her Daughter of 1749.
[ François Léage , Paris, until 2011; sold to MMA ]
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