What is a Cassone?

A large wooden chest, often richly decorated, used historically in Italy for storage and as a dowry trunk.


A cassone is a significant piece of furniture that holds a cherished place in the history of interior design, particularly within Italian culture. Originating during the Renaissance period, it is essentially a large wooden chest. What sets a cassone apart from other chests is its opulent decoration. These pieces were often adorned with intricate carvings, gilding, and painted scenes that told stories or depicted mythological themes. Traditionally, cassoni (the plural of cassone) were used for storage, especially for storing linens, clothing, and other household items. A notable tradition associated with the cassone is its use as a dowry trunk, where it would be filled with the bride's possessions to be taken to her new home.

Over the centuries, cassoni have evolved in style and decoration, reflecting the artistic and cultural shifts of the times. Despite these changes, they maintained their status as highly prized possessions, symbols of wealth and status. Today, antique cassoni are sought after by collectors and are valued not only for their historical significance but also for their craftsmanship and beauty. They continue to inspire contemporary furniture design, demonstrating the enduring appeal of Renaissance artistry in modern living spaces.


In a historical context, a cassone would be a central piece in the bedroom or main living area, showcasing the wealth and artistic tastes of its owners. In contemporary interior design, an antique cassone might serve as a statement piece in a living room, or as a unique storage option in a bedroom, blending historical beauty with practicality.


  • What distinguishes a cassone from other types of chests?

    A cassone is distinguished by its size, often larger than other chests, and its rich decorations, including intricate carvings, gilding, and painted scenes, which are typically more elaborate than those found on other types of chests.

  • How were cassoni used historically?

    Historically, cassoni were used for storage, particularly for linens and clothing. They were also traditionally used as dowry trunks, filled with the bride’s possessions to be taken to her new home.

  • Can antique cassoni be used in modern interior design?

    Yes, antique cassoni can be beautifully incorporated into modern interior design as statement pieces or unique storage solutions, adding a touch of historical elegance to contemporary spaces.

Practical Application

Adding an antique cassone to your interior space can elevate the aesthetic appeal and add a layer of historical depth. When incorporating a cassone into modern design, consider its placement carefully to highlight its decorative features. It can be used as a storage solution or as a statement piece in living rooms or bedrooms. Ensure that the surrounding decor complements its style to create a harmonious blend of the old and the new.