1870, Gilded bronze and semi-precious and other stones on a background of black jasper
This small chest, presumably intended as a jewellery box, is made of gilded bronze, with a lid encrusted with semi-precious and other stones on a background made of a touchstone (a touchstone is a variety of black jasper, scientifically known as lydite, that was used to determine the fineness of gold.) The decorations on the sides of the box depict bouquets of flowers and leaves, which shows evidence of the persistence of the tastes of the neo-Baroque, while those on the lid depict a tambourine amongst vine leaves, a club, and grapes. Inside the lid there is a dedication in gold on silk that reads: "To Colonel Ricci / the officers of the Florence Brigade / 1870": the box was in fact given to Franco Maria Ricci's grandfather by the Florentine military. It was probably made in one of the Florentine artisanal workshops that sprung up in the 19th century in competition with the Royal Opificio delle Pietre Dure.