Wonderful World 2

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It's A Wonderful World (2)

Wonderful World [ 1 ][ 2 ][ 3 ][ 4 ][ 5 ][ 5 Cont'd ][ 6 ][ 7 ][ 8 ][ 9 ][ 10 ][ 11 ][ 12 ][ ][ 14 ][ 15 ][ 16 ][ 17 ][ 18 ][ 19 ][ 20 ]

Wonderful World 2 - Italy

F. The Carnival of Venice Box. Venice was originally an independent Byzantine province in the 10th century. By the 12th century the Crusades had brought enormous wealth to Venice, with wealth came power and Venice became one of the most influential entities in the Mediterranean region. It was during that period that Venice acquired the incredible art collections and the marvelous architecture that has made Venice renowned the world over. It's power diminished slowly resulting in Napoleon conquering Venice in 1797. It never regained it's power but there is still considerable wealth in Venice. Through a series of treaties Venice finally became part of Italy in 1866. The Carnival of Venice is almost as old as Venice itself. At carnival time the costumes are eye poppingly beautiful and very imaginative and the fete fills Venice with tourists in such numbers that one wonders how this tiny island remains afloat. The box depicts two revelers costumed and wearing huge headdresses. Inside,their masks and "The Carnival of Venice" in script. Dimensional and removable, a full face mask. Retail: About $187.00. Our price: $168.90. NEW and striking!

G1. The Rialto Bridge of Venice Box. Built in 1591 it was the only means of crossing the Grand Canal until 1854 when a second bridge was built. Originally it led to one of the first inhabited areas of Venice but today it is a bustling market area. Most visitors to Venice cross the bridge because of it's fame but the view down the Grand Canal is one of the best in Venice. Here we see a Gondola with Gondolier and Passenger, dimensional, just emerging from under it. Inside, painted, a view of Venice. The box, by the way, is heart shaped. It is said that "Everyone falls in love with Venice". Retail: About $315.00. Our price: $283.90.

G2. The Rialto Bridge Box. Another version, this time by Rochard, with a painted gondola just in front of the bridge.Inside a gondola out on the bay looking back at Venice. Notice that the gondola is black as any authentic gondola would be. There was a law passed in Venice in 1562 that decreed all gondolas were to be black. The competition to have the most elegantly and expensively decorated gondola in Venice had gotten out of hand resulting in this law. The law has remained ever since. Twined hearts for the closing because "Everyone falls in love with Venice." Retail: About $239.00. Our price: $215.90. Did you know that Venice is called "The city whose streets are filled with water?"

H1. The Duomo Box.  If you have not been to Florence then it is unlikely that you will know that The Duomo, the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, the fourth largest church in all of Europe, is the most famous symbol of Florence.  It dominates the city's skyline and in a city that is a celebration of art and sculpture, it is a masterpiece!  Designed by Brunelleschi, it was completed in 1463.  Each segment of the dome is separated by marble ribs and lined in rose bricks set in a self-supporting herringbone pattern after the Pantheon in Rome. There is no interior architectural support other than a shell that is actually a platform on which each panel rests.  The interior of the dome is covered in frescoes of the Last Judgment. The box replicates the dome.  Inside the box, an open bible, painted.  The clasp repeats the port-like openings in the dome.  Retail: About $281.00.  Our price: $263.90.  New.

H2. The Roofs of Florence Easel Box. The city is built on either side of the River Arno as you can see in this highly detailed painting of Firenze. The bridge in the forefront of the painting is Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, built in 1345. It is the only bridge in Florence that survived World War 2. It is more than just a bridge. At various times the areas above it housed the Medici family and shops eventually resulting in it becoming a very exclusive shopping area, which it is today. Off to the right is the Campanile and the renowned Duomo--Santa Maria del Fiore, the most famous church in Florence and the fourth largest church in Europe. The church is clad in white, pink and green Tuscan marble and it is the major landmark in the city rising 296 feet and dwarfing all around it. Parts of the church date back to the 4th century and it one of the oldest buildings in Florence. Inside, I love Firenze. The clasp, a fleur de lis. Retail: About $220.00. Our price: $198.90. NEW This is the first and only box I have seen for Florence.

I. The Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Tower was begun in 1173. It started to tilt before the third level was completed in 1274. Construction continued however, and it was completed in 1350, leaning then quite a bit but not nearly as much as now. Currently the Tower is closed because the tilt has gotten even worse, now leaning more than 16 feet. Over the years they tried repairing the tilt. Nothing that was done seemed to help. An interesting fact is that Galileo, the Italian scientist, born in Pisa, conducted his experiments on falling objects from the Tower. The box is faithful in detail including even some of the staircase that runs around the core of the building all the way to the top. Retail: About $195.00. Our price: $175.90. NEW and a marvelous replica of the Tower.

J. The Piazza San Marco Box. Saint Mark's in Venice is one of the most beautiful churches in the world. It is completely adorned with sculptures, mosaics and some of the loveliest Romanesque carvings in Italy. The four gilded bronze horses that originally stood over the main entrance to the church are now in the Basilica Museum and have been replaced with very fine copies so the effect is still to be seen. This entire box is done in various levels of relief giving great depth to this view of the Campanile and The Church of Saint Mark. Looking at it from the Canal one sees the entry columns in the center, the Campanile on the left and Saint Mark's on the the right of the box. Napoleon described this Piazza as "the most elegant drawing room in Europe." Saint Marks is covered with a wealth of columns, bas reliefs and colored marbles covering the entire front facade. This box is made with a self stand so that it may be viewed easily and the top of the stand is painted with the Rialto Bridge. Inside, a gondolier's hat, painted and the clasp, a court musician playing a lute. Retail: About $179.00. Our price: $161.90. No longer new but still the best.

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