Monday, 1 February 2016

The Three Dukes Cassone

Mondays in Milan / Les lundis en Lombardie

A cassone is a chest used for storing clothes or tableware in medieval and renaissance Lombard households. They are typically long and narrow, easy to transport from residence to residence and sturdy enough to double as a seat in the sparsely furnished rooms of the time. These chests are probably the single most common item of furniture in medieval houses.

This particular cassone is special because its painted front shows three Dukes of Milan: from left to right we have Ludovico il Moro, Giangaleazzo Sforza and Galeazzo Maria Sforza. They are dressed as knights and attended by their pages. The chest is wooden, made in a Lombardy workshop and dates from 1479 - 1494.


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A la cuisine hier: Lunch was a sort of shawarma made from leftover lamb, leftover hummus, the last of a lettuce and the remains of some condiments that have been in the fridge for a while (pita sauce, bbq sauce) all wrapped up in a warmed Turkish flatbread. It was delicious, not to mention making me feel righteous for all that good use of leftovers and dregs.

I bought the last two slices of bavette d'aloyau steak at the butchers. He is normally open on Sunday mornings, but since he is on holiday from today he was running stocks down. I asked if he was going anywhere nice. He said, no, he was staying home and insulating the loft. I seasoned the steaks with a secret homemade spice mix and grilled them on thermonuclear in the cast iron pan. Served with potato wedges, steamed carrots and green beans and a creamy oyster mushroom and garlic sauce.

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Loire Valley Nature: A new entry has been added for the Yellow Stainer mushroom Agaricus xanthodermus. If you pick and eat Field or Horse Mushrooms you need to know how to identify this poisonous lookalike mushroom.
A photo has been added to the entry on Adonis Blue butterfly Polyommatus belargus, one of our prettiest grassland species.
A photo has been added to the entry on Brown Argus butterfly Aricia agestis. A species often very difficult to distinguish from a female Common Blue.
A new entry has been added for Essex Skipper butterfly Thymelicus lineolus. A tricky business, distinguishing it from the Small Skipper. 
 A photo of two Gatekeeper butterflies Pyronis tithonus making more has been added to the entry for this species.

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Au jardin hier: The daffodils are up and budding. Yellow crocuses are flowering, as are eastern cyclamen and the hellebores.

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Nature News: It rained steadily all day Saturday and the Aigronne has flooded its meadows.

2 comments:

  1. The chest itself is very ordinary, but the painting is outstanding.

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    Replies
    1. It is quite typical of these cassone - very plain, except for the decorated fronts.

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