Bridal Coffret

Northern Italy (Fifteenth century)

Wood and ivory, 31 x 51 x 31cm

Inv. 2426

The Galleria Estense, Modena

This coffer with bone reliefs and wooden inlays alla certosina was part of the original Estense collections. It is highly characteristic of objects of this type that were widely distributed in Europe throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: bridal coffrets made to hold gifts for the bride. Those made in the Venetian Embriachi workshop were particularly wide-spread and it is to this workshop that this coffret has been attributed. The slightly rounded plaques on its sides tell the story of Saint Susanna whilst the shields held by young boys on the upper edge originally would have been painted with the coats of arms of the engaged couples’ families.