Case (étui) with an amorous inscription, 1450–1500
Leather (cuir bouilli) over a wooden core, red cord; Overall 15 9/16 x 3 1/8 x 3 1/4 in. (39.6 x 8 x 8.2 cm)
Inscribed: A BONA FEDE TE AMO DEL BON [CUORE]
Rogers Fund, 1950 (50.53.1)
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.