Imitation of Gothic
Late 19th to early 20th century
Possibly workshop of Louis Marcy (Italian, 1860–1945)

Object Place: Europe, Europe


5. x 8.6 x 6.2 cm (1 15/16 x 3 3/8 x 2 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Metal; tortoiseshell, boxwood, copper alloys (brass and bronze), glass, gold leaf on linen rag paper and gilding on silver (95.4% silver, 4.6% copper)

Not On View





Rectangular box with hinged lid and lock in front, supported by four seated lions. From the inside out are gilded silver (gilded copper on the lid), linen rag paper with gold leaf, tortoiseshell, cut-out thin silver tracery, and cast gilded silver tracery. Around the edges are silver-gilt moldings, corner buttresses, and feet; the base is boxwood. Elements are attached by tiny copper nails, bent wire, and solder. The lockplate is attached with rivets. In heavy tracery on the sides are a series of intersecting pointed arches inside of which (in thinner tracery) are smaller cusped arches, trefoils, rosettes, and letters in Gothic script beginning on the front to the right of the lock and continuing around: A VOVS MOTRI. Within the circular tracery below the lockplate is a small letter I. The heavier tracery on the lid delineates a central circle of flamboyant design with lancets arranged in a spiral, flanked by a lancet with oculus above and below. The remaining thin tracery forms cusps, trefoils, rosettes, and crowns of three fleurons. Molding on the lid is decortated with two bands of beading. There are traces of wax in the thin tracery.


Late 19th or early 20th century, possibly made by Louis Marcy (b. Luigi Francesco Giovanni Parmiggiani) or his workshop, London and Paris [see note 1]. Nicolas Landau (b. 1887 - d. 1979), Paris. 1953, John Hunt, London and Dublin; 1953, sold by Hunt to the MFA for £350. (Accession Date: November 12, 1953)

[1] For further discussion of the provenance of this object see Nancy Netzer, Catalogue of Medieval Objects: Metalwork (Boston: MFA, 1991), pp. 167-168, cat. no. A1.

Credit Line

Arthur Mason Knapp Fund