Gilt brass marriage casket attributed to the workshop of Michel & Conrad Mann

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Augsburg or Nuremberg, Germany
C. 1600
Gilt brass, iron
4.5 cm
9.8 cm
5 cm

E. Berger, Prunkkassetten - Meisterwerke aus der Hanns Schnell Collection, Graz 1998, cat. no. 103, pp. 117 - 138.

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The casket is decorated with various engravings and has an elaborate lock. On the sides, the front, the back and the lid are engravings of a man and a woman in contemporary clothing, looking at each other. On the front and back the woman is holding a flower, and on the lid the man has removed his hat. On the inside of the box is an engraving of a man with a sword and walking stick. The bottom is engraved with fruit and floral motifs in an oval frame. The casket stands on four ball feet, the corners are covered with openwork brass. The brass slide on the lid hides the keyhole.

The brothers Michel and Conrad Mann were active in Nuremberg and Augsburg and specialised, among other things, in miniature caskets, fitted with ingenious locks and refined engravings. Some of these caskets are signed. The engravings depict popular motifs of the period; hunting scenes, religious scenes, love couples, mythological scenes and the virtues. Considering the decorations, the casket is in all probability a wedding casket, which was made and presented on the occasion of an engagement or wedding ceremony. Larger chests were filled with valuables and given to the wife by the parents or the husband. The casket was used after the marriage to keep valuables such as jewellery and money.   


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