17th-Century German Games Box
17th-Century German Games Box 17th-Century German Games Box 17th-Century German Games Box 17th-Century German Games Box 17th-Century German Games Box 17th-Century German Games Box 17th-Century German Games Box
17th-Century German Games Box

17th-Century German Games Box

  • This incredible south German games box dates to the 17th century
  • The box features incredible marquetry detailing various animals and floral motifs
  • The box is equipped for playing chess and tric-trac
  • A luxury of the wealthy, similar games boxes can be found in several prestigious musuems
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Item No. 30-7620
$38,850
description
specifications
description
Remarkable condition and craftsmanship distinguish this 17th-century German games box. Most likely created in southern Germany, an area well-known for its marquetry craftsmen, such an early and high-quality box would have been a luxury afforded only to the wealthy.

Crafted of walnut with boxwood and hardwood inlays, this rare antique features exceptional marquetry work including depictions of flora and fauna both outside and within. The lid features a chess board surrounded by a border of floral sprigs joined by images of dogs, birds, frogs and even a mouse. The exterior base features foliate scrolls punctuating the imagery of goats, dogs, lizards and a snail, while at the center, a wonderful geometric pattern surrounding three inlaid dice provides a playing area for the two-player strategy game known as "9 Men's Morris."

Open the rustic metal latch to reveal an interior and game pieces ready to play a game of tric-trac. Played similarly to backgammon, tric-trac originated in France around 1500 and quickly became a favorite game enjoyed throughout western Europe. The game required two players to roll dice and move their "checkers" accordingly in opposing directions to both gain the highest score and race your opponent to finish a "match." This box retains its checkers and dice.

Tric-trac was very popular during the 17th-century, with the game portrayed in numerous works of art throughout the period. Speaking to the rarity of this box, several museums, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and Dresden's Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) Museum of incredible European treasures both hold similar southern German games boxes in their collections.

Circa 1635

Closed: 17 5/8" wide x 17 7/8" deep x 5 1/2" high
Open: 35 5/8" wide x 2 3/4" high
specifications
Period: 17th Century
Type:Game Boxes
Width:Open 35 5/8 closed 17 5/8 Inches
Height:Open 2 3/4 closed 5 1/2 Inches
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