A jewellery casket

Germany, first half of the 17th century | Ebony veneer and mother-of-pearl, partially engraved

more information

A jewellery casket

This jewellery casket is decorated with mother-of-pearl plaquettes and cabochons. The ebony is embellished with engraving in gold. The interior contains a reserve for rings and a drawer is decorated conformingly with mother-of-pearl plaques.

Jewellery caskets such as the present example were manufactured in Germany. Several, presumably originating from the same workshop, are known. It is not certain where this studio was exactly located, therfore many of comparable casket are given to Germany, more specifically to Augsburg.

Adriaen Muntinck

The prints that were used to copy the engravings from are Dutch. These prints were designed by Adriaen Muntinck, a Groningen gold- and silversmith, active between 1597 and 1617, and a progenitor of a family of Groningen silversmiths. Next to his silversmithing activities he produced designs for silversmiths in print. These designs were widely followed and were published in by Claes Jansz. Visscher in Amsterdam. Very well-know is a series of fruit festoons, a series with birds and various pointed strapwork with birds, flowers and fruits.


Muntinck’s prints were regularly used by many silversmiths during the course of the 17th century, hence they have become quite rare as complete series. In museum collections sometimes single or a number of prints are found, hardly ever a whole series of related designs. The illustrations below prove that the artist who engraved the mother-of-pearl plaques as well as the artist who made the gold engraved ebony must have known the prints by Muntinck.



Associated Literature
A. Gruber ed. The history of decorative arts The Renaissance and Mannerism in Europe 1994, Paris 1994, p. 338;
Studies in prints and printmaking, Peter Fuhring, Ornament prints in the Rijksmuseum, Rijksmuseum/Sound and Vision, Amsterdam, 2004, vol. II, the seventeenth century, Cat. n° 1461, p. 252;
G. Laue, Möbel für die Kunstkammer Europas, München 2008, cat.n° 23

Germany, first half of the 17th century
Ebony veneer and mother-of-pearl, partially engraved

height 12,5 cm., width 23,1 cm., depth 13,1 cm.

Related objects