Overall (case only): 8 1/4 x 3 1/8 x 3 1/4 in. (20.9 x 8 x 8.2 cm)
Overall (with strap extended): 15 9/16 x 3 1/8 x 3 1/4 in. (39.6 x 8 x 8.2 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1950
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 307
The inscription in relief on the leather—"In good faith, I love you with a true heart" (the word "heart" is represented by a heart shape)—shows that this case was a love token or betrothal gift. Made from the stiffened leather known as cuir bouilli, it probably was made to carry writing tools. Similar cases can be seen in painted representations of scholars' studios, or studioli; one appears in an intarsia panel from the studiolo of Federico da Montefeltro, originally installed in his palace in Gubbio and now displayed in the Museum.
Inscription: (in raised letters, on box) may be read as: A BONA FEDE TE AMO DEL BON heartshape [CUORE?]; trans. In good faith I love thee with a good heart (or: I really love you with all my heart), by WHF. (on cover) A~gamma
Private Collection, New York (until 1950); Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York (March 9, 1950, no. 150)
Husband, Timothy B., and Jane Hayward, ed. The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages. New York: Dutton Publishing, 1975. no. 89, p. 81.
Bayer, Andrea, ed. Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008. no. 41, pp. 111-112.