Early 17th Venetian Domed Lacquer Box


Rare and precious Venetian domed box in richly lacquered wood, early 17th century period.

Caskets like this are more unique than rare pieces, not to be confused with the lacquered imitations in arte povera which will spread profusely in the 18th century. We are at the dawn of Venetian lacquer; after the “Persian” decoration of the 16th century, the “depentori” began to turn their gaze towards the East and China: it was precisely the traders and missionaries who traveled the Silk Road who exalted the quality of Chinese lacquers and bring the first lacquer objects to the Lagoon.

This box celebrates the Venetian conquests: the character that we see seated on the throne, with the typical cocked hat on his head, is the doge, before whom a foreign ambassador bows. Many characters, some hooded and holding torches, enliven the scene. It is difficult to give a certain interpretation, but the beauty and richness of the decoration leaves you speechless: the wood is encrusted with sheets gilded in Mecca and painted in shades of red and green; the lacquer is then applied, with a long and complex multi-step process: the wood is carefully smoothed and prepared with a very thin layer of special putty. Once the preparation had dried and smoothed, the lacquering was carried out by superimposing several layers of lacquer (up to thirty, in the most precious pieces) and taking care to let each layer dry and smooth before applying the next. Careful 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, so much so that, it is said, the most scrupulous lacquers carried out the last operations in the middle of a body of water.

Excellent state of preservation.

H cm 10
W cm 24
D cm 14

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.

Payments accepted: bank transfer or credit card via pay-by-link