Since the estimate on this item is £40,000 - £60,000, I thought you should have at least a fortnight's warning. You wouldn't want to go shopping for a new pair of shoes and then not have enough left in your purse to bid for this extremely desirable late 17th century double casket, would you? The oak carrying box which has a top-opening lid and fall front has protected the inner silk embroidered casket from the effect of travels and time. You can't see the top here - it depicts the judgment of Solomon scene familiar to us from many Stuart stitched pictures.
The story of Abraham and Hagar continues on one side panel, while the back and the other side-panel portray Venus, Adonis and the boar hunt.
The front doors part Abraham from Hagar and Ishmael to reveal a chest of many hiding places for secrets and small treasures.
Here you can see in more detail the interior with three upper panels, each decorated with two bells above a mirrored recess lined with eight giltwood half-columns, flanked by four small drawers above a long drawer, all decorated thistles, acorns and other floral motifs. It is 14.5 inches (37 cm.) high; 11.75 inches (30 cm.) wide; and 8.25 inches (21 cm.) deep. For more details of the Christie's Sale on 25 March 2010 in London, click here.