The Renaissance Court Casket of Newbattle Abbey by the Master of Perspective, Nuremberg (1565). Georg Laue, Kunstkammer and Trinity Fine Art, London, until 25 July. Around £700,000. (Courtesy of Georg Laue, Kunstkammer Ltd and Trinity Fine Art)
This elaborate and incredibly intricate casket with trompe l'oeil marquetry and engraved ivory and bone panels was in the collection of the marquesses of Lothian at Newbattle Abbey, near Edinburgh, until 2017 when it was sold at Sotheby's. Estimated at a mere £50,000-£100,000, it sold for £118,750 (with fees)—a steal, surely. Now attributed to the so-called Master of Perspective due to its likeness to 11 similar works of South German marquetry of the same period, it being shown during London Art Week (until 5 July) in the hope of finding a UK buyer. In April, the UK's then arts minister Michael Ellis placed a temporary export bar on the cabinet as it is believed to be the only known example of its type in the country. Time is running out—the decision on the export licence will be made on 11 July but, according to a government statement: "This may be extended until 11 October 2019 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the casket is made at the recommended price of £750,000." One of the earliest known examples of kunstkammer (cabinet of curiosities) furniture, the cabinet is thought to have come into the possession of the Scottish family when the 4th Marquess of Lothian married the granddaughter of the 3rd Duke of Schomberg, 1st Duke of Leinster, in 1735.