Casket, Spain, probably Salamanca, c. 1480 – 1500


Leather, cuir bouilli and iron, mounted on red fabric on a wood core
Spain, probably Salamanca, c. 1480 – 1500


22.5 cm; 8⅞ in.
30.5 cm; 1 ft.
20.5 cm; 8⅛ in.


Private collection, Italy

Related literature

A. Sella i Montserrat (ed.), L'art del ferro: Rusiñol i el col-leccionisme del seu temps, exhibition catalogue (Edifici Miramar, Sitges, 2007), pp. 141, 143, 145, 169, nos. 125, 128, 132

With leather engraved with foliate decoration and a banderol with text on the bombe lid, wrought iron mounted on red fabric on a wood core and an interior lined with red velvet, the front of this superb domed casket is inscribed ‘IHECUS MARIA’.  Fascinatingly, the casket was restored in the 19th century using leather binding dating from the 1500s, the sides and rear still bearing remnants of the original gilded decoration and the pin holes where hinges attached. The scallop shell-shaped, architectural and openwork iron mounts of the present example can be seen on a limited number of domed leather clad caskets in Spanish museums, including the Museo Lázaro Galdiano and the Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid.

This beautiful early casket is in exceptional condition with a deep richness of colour making it a prized example of Spanish gothic craftsmanship.