Jewelry casket, Pietro Giusti (Italian, 1822–1878), Carved walnut, ebony, lined with red velvet, Italian, Siena

Jewelry casket

Pietro Giusti (Italian, 1822–1878)
Italian, Siena
Carved walnut, ebony, lined with red velvet
11 x 15 x 10-1/4 in. (27.9 x 38.1 x 26.0 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of John D. Rockefeller, by exchange, and Rogers Fund, 1998
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 556
Pietro Giusti, one of the most successful nineteenth-century designers and sculptors in Tuscany, was known for his elaborately carved frames and furniture in sixteenth-century styles. Here, Giusti may have been inspired by the work of the Renaissance artist Antonio Barili (1453–1516); Guisti was probably familiar with Barili’s cassone surmounted by the she-wolf with Romulus and Remus and with fabled monsters at the four corners in the Museo Civico, Siena. The city is traditionally thought to have been founded by the Romans, hence the use of the she-wolf on its seal and many of its civic buildings.
Inscription: Centered on front side of lid: initials PG and SIENA carved in slightly raised rectangular band; on back side: 1857 in similar band
[ Martin Levy, H. Blairman and Sons, Ltd. , London, until 1998; sold to MMA ]