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Painted chests like this are called cassone (literally ‘a large chest’). They were made to celebrate a marriage and were often used to store a new bride’s dresses and linens. Cassone were in such high demand in Florence that painters like Apollonio di Giovanni had workshops specialising in their decoration.
This chest was substantially altered and restored in the nineteenth century to transform it into a more elaborate structure.
Cassone with a Tournament Scene
probably about 1455-65
Carved and gilded wood
H 38.1 x W 130.2 cm
Bequeathed by Sir Henry Bernhard Samuelson, Bt, in memory of his father, 1937