An Italian pietre dure mounted ebony casket, Florentine, Grand Ducal Workshop, late 17th-early 18th century. Photo Sotheby's

of rectangular form, with a raised top with concave sides opening to reveal a later velvetlined interior above panelled sides all mounted with pietre dure panels with various flowers, leaves and scrolled acanthus, including roses, tulips and cornflowers within giltmetal ripple-cut borders on later ebonised flattened bun feet with gilt-metal beaded collars; 21cm. high, 27cm. wide, 21cm. deep; 8¼in., 10½in., 8¼in. Estimate 20,000-30,000 GBP

Comparative Literature:
Alvar González-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto,  Vol. II, Milan, 1986, pp. 60-62.

A Florentine casket of very similar form with birds on branches, sold Sotheby's, Château de Groussay, 3rd June 1999, lot 554.

This casket, a product of the Florentine Grand Ducal workshop of the late 17th/early 18th century, combined the earlier Roman taste for pietre teneremosaic with Milanese hardstone sculpture. The primary purpose of the workshop was to manufacture furnishings for the Grand Duke's residences and to distribute these type of objects to foreign royalty as ambassadorial gifts.

Sotheby's. Arts of Europe. London | 10 Jul 2013, 02:00 PM www.sothebys.com