A coconut amphora


This unique amphora, made with a coconut carved with a high relief technique and mounted in silver once belonged to the museum established by Ferdinando Cospi (Bologna, 1606-1686). The Museum, which was organized as a sort of Wunderkammer in keeping with a central European approach, included all sorts of mirabilia, unusual objects and strange artefacts that documented the complexity of the world as revealed by scientific studies and geographical discoveries. The amphora, which may have been made in a European-owned workshop in America, features several original elements, such as carving a coconut in high relief and depicting scenes from Greek mythology (The Judgement of Paris, Apollo and Marsyas) embellished with masks, cherubs, and floral frames.