I love pietra dura, which means “hard stone” in Italian, and refers to the creation of figurative cut stone mosaic work like this, which became popular as an Italian art form especially in Florence in the late 16th and 17th centuries. In my dreams I'd find a piece by early 20th c. master and innovator Giovanni Montelatici, who was significantly responsible for the revival of the art of pietra dura (look him up, his work is amazing!) Alas, this is not that, but it's quite lovely, and I virtually never come across these when --and how to argue with an Italian villa in the countryside? I believe it was made as a cigar box, with veneer to the sides that looks to me like birds eye maple. One could certainly remove the lid from the box and hang it as a picture, though it's quite a nice box, perhaps for stashing one's passport and plane tickets!
7 1/4" x 5 3/8" x 2". Lid alone: 6 3/8" x 4 5/8". Very good condition. The inclusion of a wooden block in photos of the interior is because the lid is so heavy from the stone it will tip with the lid open if nothing is inside. A few small chips to veneer on one short side the bottom, minor, and minor loss to the underside of the box.