A South German, probably Nuremberg, etched steel casket, style of Michael and Conradt Mann, circa 1600, the hinged rectangular section casket fully engraved with arabesques and men and women in courtly dress within arcaded reserves, raised on ball feet; the interior with lock mechanism and conforming swirl engraving, 10 x 17.5 x 10.5cm excluding height of key
Provenance: Private Collection
The present casket with its intricate engraved patterns and detailed figures shows similarities to known examples from the Nuremberg workshop of Michael and Conradt Mann. Caskets and boxes from the renowned workshops of the Mann family are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New York (see for example accession number 23.29) and the V&A, London (2806&A-1856).
A signed example in gilt copper was offered at Christie's London, 10 June 2010, The Longridge Collection, lot 1132 (£5,625).
An example similar to the present lot, though less elaborately engraved, was sold at Sotheby's New York, 20 January 2016 ($2250 USD), and another with similarly attired figures was offered at Christie's South Kensington, 26 October 2011, lot 1065 (£3000).
Further reading: L. Winters, J. Bliss, et. al., A Renaissance Treasury: The Flagg Collection of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Hudson Hills, 1999, particularly pp. 87-88, where caskets from Nuremberg are featured.
The surface is slightly tarnished and has lost some definition and may at one point have been cleaned.
The interior edges are a little bent and the interior itself bears verdigris oxidisation.
One element below the lock mechanism is lacking, though the lock is functional.
One old solder repair to the cover.
One of the feet is possibly a replacement, another is slightly bent.
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