Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Folding Game Board

15th century
Made in Venice, Italy
Bone, wood, horn, stain and gilding over wood core with metal mounts
Overall (closed): 16 5/8 x 9 15/16 x 2 9/16 in. (42.2 x 25.2 x 6.5 cm) Overall (opened): 1 1/4 x 16 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (3.2 x 42.2 x 49.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of The Salgo Trust for Education, New York, in memory of Nicolas M. Salgo, 2010
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 307
This folding game board for both chess and backgammon uses block marquetry and hardwood inlays to create geometric borders. The ends of the game board each contain an assembled ivory or bone strip carved in relief with floating putti holding banderols and two central putti holding an empty garlanded shield. There is also evidence that the ground of these strips was once painted gold at an uncertain date. This decorative technique is known as certosina and has Arabic origins. It involves inlaying stained wood and bone to create patterns. Certosina was made famous by the Embriachi family workshops, established in Venice and Florence in the early fifteenth century. The carved bone relief panels seen here are also characteristic of their work.
Nicolas M. Salgo (Budapest 1914–2005 Bal Harbour)(until 2005); Salgo Trust for Education(2005–2010)
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