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This is the first of two decorated boxes which Wilkie commissioned from Lessore. Wilkie specified the nature of the decorations, and also that the box should include a space in which a personal relic would be kept. This is located behind the panel in the interior of the box. The top of the lid bears a transcription of Claude's painting 'The Enchanted Castle' in the National Gallery, London. On the base of the interior is a painting of the hall of mirrors in the castle of King Ludwig of Bavaria. Wilkie had always wondered what was inside Claude's mysterious castle and the box is intended to suggest the experience of going inside it.

September 2004