Object Place: Europe, Italy
33.34 cm (13 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Leather; Cuir bouilli
Italian Renaissance Gallery E (Gallery 219)
Cuir bouilli process. Lower panel with figure of Abundance and Spring?; amorial shields containing clasp hands with initials R.F. and H.R.?, lions heads, a dog and rabbit cherubs, beasts; four dragons on top. Traces of polychrome and gilding. Wood core with compartments for instruments.
This case, which displays figures representing Virtues, may have held shaving tools, knives, or other implements. To make the box, leather was wrapped around a form. The soft leather was tooled and stamped, and then covered with hot water; the leather dried to a hard surface that was then enlivened with gilding. This complex technique is called cuir bouilli-literally “boiled leather.”
H. E. Bolles Fund