Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public


A work made of rock crystal, ebony, rosewood, walnut, silver gilt, paint, varnish, and glass.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of rock crystal, ebony, rosewood, walnut, silver gilt, paint, varnish, and glass.


c. 1595



About this artwork

This casket, or chest, was conceived as a piece of heavenly architecture. Its contents can be glimpsed through 184 panels of hand-cut rock crystal (quartz). Two panels on the lid are engraved with the Latin phrase BONAE MATRI—VTERE FELIX [To the good Mother—Use it with luck]. According to tradition, Pope Clement VIII employed this and other similar pieces to present blessed linens to the mothers of first-born male children of European royal families.


On View, Gallery 206


Applied Arts of Europe




Venice (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Rock crystal, ebony, rosewood, walnut, silver gilt, paint, varnish, and glass


30 × 41 × 31.1 cm (11 3/4 × 16 1/8 × 12 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment Fund; Paul H. Leffmann and Chester D. Tripp Major Acquisition funds; Mary Waller Langhorne and Harry and Maribel G. Blum endowment funds; Irish Gala and Harry A. Root and Curtis Chapin Palmer European Decorative Arts purchase funds; Gladys N. Anderson Endowment Fund; Richard T. Crane Memorial Fund; Mary Swissler Oldberg Endowment Fund; Decorative Arts Purchase Fund; European Decorative Arts General, Ivan and Jean Plaut, Charles R. Feldstein, General Acquisition, Bessie Bennett, and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Varley endowment funds; Wendel Fentress Ott Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions