Casket (cassetta)

Date: late 15th–early 16th century

Culture: Italian, Ferrara

Medium: Gesso on wood (pastiglia)

Dimensions: Overall: 7 1/4 × 8 1/2 × 10 1/4 in. (18.4 × 21.6 × 26 cm)

Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1910

Accession Number: 10.141.1


The variety of fantastic ornament employed for the decoration of this casket was derived from Roman wall decoration. After centuries of burial, these decorations were revealed during the excavations of the Golden house of Nero in Rome, begun about 1480. As they were found underground in grotto-like spaces, they were named grottesche, or grotesques.