17th Venetian Lacquer and Gilted Chinoiserie Box


Rare and precious Venetian box in finely lacquered wood from the late 16th-early 17th century.

Lacquer came to Venice via the Silk Road, through merchants and Catholic missionaries who extolled its beauty.

The objects, made of wood, were carefully smoothed and prepared with a very thin layer of special putty. Once the preparation was dried and smoothed, the lacquering began. It was achieved by superimposing several layers of lacquer-paint (up to thirty, in the most valuable pieces) and taking care to let each layer dry and smooth before applying the next. Meticulous and very long operations which could take a few years and which had to be carried out in the most complete shelter of any speck of dust, to such an extent that, it is said, the most scrupulous lacquers carried out the last operations in the middle of ‘a body of water. And this was only the basis on which the smooth decoration, usually in gold and silver leaf, was then made with various techniques, to which pieces of other metals could also be added, inspired mainly by fantastic designs. oriental taste.

The rich decoration of the box celebrates Venice and its dominions. On the cover we see an ambassador bowing before a queen seated on a throne: the queen is Venice and the man represents the subject peoples bowing before her greatness. On the sides of the box there are scenes representing the territories with which Venice has relations, such as the Ottoman Empire or China.
It is a very rare, almost unique object of great executive finesse, in which precious materials such as gold and silver leaf have been used in profusion. The interior also has a magnificent red lacquer with golden decorations.
Nothing to do with the 18th century lacquer boxes, many of which were produced with a totally different process and with the use of low-value materials.
The state of conservation, respecting the age of the box, is optimal.


cm 24 x 15
H cm 10.5

1 in stock


All the objects are accompanied by an invoice, a certificate of authenticity and, according to the cases, a technical sheet and an expertise.

I take care of all the customs formalities.

Packing in customized wooden box.

Shipping costs: please, contact me with delivery address, I will reply as soon as possible.