This colourful casket probably comes from Southern Italy and was made to contain letters or jewels. It is decorated with many different semi-precious stones, including jasper, agate, lapis lazuli and moss agate. The stones are held in gilt-brass mounts, which are delicately engraved to resemble leaves. Carved mother-of-pearl and red coral leaves are attached by fine wire all over the casket and its edges are veneered with tortoiseshell.
Trapani Casket c1700-50 © Compton Verney