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.
- 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.)
- 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