9568
Antique Dutch Silver Marriage Box

Date: Circa 1680

Country: Netherlands

£9,500
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A 17th century silver gilt casket of traditional rectangular form. The domed top with swing handle is hand engraved with a bridal couple surrounded by birds and foliage. The body, standing on four ball feet, has a front locking catch in the form of a flower, and is hand engraved with old testament scenes. Initials to the front of the lid. Weight 162 grams, 5.2 troy ounces. Height 7.7cm. Length 8.5cm. Depth 5cm. Stamped underneath twice with a maker’s mark (anvil?) unidentified. Circa 1680.

Literature: A knottekistje or wedding casket is a small Frisian money casket usually made of silver. Traditionally, a man's promise of marriage to his future bride was formal when he presented her with a coin knotted into a costly cloth (knottedoek). This later became a textile bag and then in the seventeenth century a silver casket (knottekistje). The boxes are usually rectangular with a semicircular lid and stand on ball feet although they also occur in the form of round or hexagonal boxes.They are often delicately engraved with symbolic scenes about love and marriage, sometimes accompanied by a proverb or motto.

Friesland is a province of the Netherlands located in the northern part of the country.

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