Board games box

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North Italy
15th century
lime wood base, Iron mounting, Glued with (green) colored bone and wood
4.5 cm
26 cm
17.5 cm

Martina Pall, Versperrbare Kostbarkeiten, Kästchen und Kabinette aus der Welt, Hanns Schell Collection, Graz 2006, p. 38.

Ewald Berger, Prunk-Kassetten: Europäischen Meisterwerke aus acht Jahrhunderten / Ornamental Caskets: Eight Centuries of European Craftsmanship, Hanns Schell Collection, Stuttgart/Graz 1998, pp. 89-101.

Pietro Lorenzelli e Alberto Veca, Tra/e: Teche, pissidi, cofani e forzieri dall’Alto Medioevo al Barocco, Gallereria Lorenzelli, Bergamo 1984, p. 337-344.

Francesca Gualandi, Luca Mor e Giuliano Gaggioli, Capsellae. Cassette-reliquario e cofanetti della collezione Fornaro Gaggioli. Secoli XIII-XVI, Bologna 2006, pp. 24-26.

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This games box can be used to play chess or tric trac. The box is glued with ebony and (green) colored bone. The chess board is on the outside, set in a narrow frame. On the inside the typical green and white points and two central black-and-white diamond-shaped decorations of tric trac. The raised border prevented the pieces and dice from rolling off the game board.

From 15th century onwards these games boxes are seen, by which the popular games chess, tric trac or mill game could be played. When folded this box could easily be carried. These luxurious games boxes were especially made in Italy (Venice).

Similar caskets are mentioned in Lorenzelli e Veca, Bergamo 1984, fig. 474, p. 337 and Gualandi, Mor & Gaggioli, Bologna 2006, fig. 10, p. 24 and fig. 11, p. 26


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