Pearwood 'minnekästchen' casket
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- First half 16th century
- Pear, iron
- 9.5 cm
- 21 cm
- 16.5 cm
E. Berger, Prunk-Kassetten: Europäische Meisterwerke aus acht Jahrhunderten, Stuttgart 1998, p. 182, 190, 191.
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This German casket is a beautiful example of a so-called 'minnekästchen'; a 'love box' filled with gift given to a loved one as a wedding or engagement present. The pear wood casket has a plank construction with highly detailed notched carvings of geometric patterns, the side panels with tracery. The casket has iron mounts and a blind-stamped hasp lock. The box could be carried by the rectangular handle of the lid.
A ‘minnekästchen’ was a box intended as a wedding gift. painted or carved, often richly decorated, sometimes with a loving couple or love symbols or a portrait of the giver. In the Middle Ages, gifts to the loved one were usually packed and shipped in a ‘minnekästchen’. During the late Middle Ages it was mainly used in Germany.