German (Munich)
19th century
about 1880–85
Designed by Fritz von Miller (German, 1840–1921)

Place of Manufacture: Munich, Europe, Germany


Overall: 46 x 44 x 30.8cm (18 1/8 x 17 5/16 x 12 1/8in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ebony, ivory, silver, gilded metal, lapis lazuli, amber

Not On View





The ebony carcase is fitted with ivory, silver, and gilt metal mounts, set with amber cabochons and lapis lazuli. The ambers are carved variously with classical masks, flowers and insects. Silver male and female caryatids are mounted at each corner.

The Renaissance-revival style was popular throughout Europe during the second half of the nineteenth century. Miller, a leading Munich goldsmith and designer with considerable academic training, produced caskets and other works of art in historicist and eclectic styles. Arnold Buffum, a Boston collector, commissioned this casket to display the most prized pieces of his extensive collection of carved and polished amber. The amber medallions are based on classical gems.


'F.v.Miller Munchen' engraved in script on lower left corner of central panel.


No marks


Commissioned by William Arnold Buffum, Boston, MA; 1901, bequeathed by William Arnold Buffum to the MFA. (Accession date: January 1, 1901)

Credit Line

Bequest of William Arnold Buffum