Writing case of Carl Philipp of Greiffenclau




Christian Eduard Franke-Landwers Christoph Freiherr von Seckendorff


Probably Mainz, around 1725

On this double-locking, walnut-veneered cassette with an inner lid, the lush brass fittings are most eye-catching. Their engravings are filled with red and green composition, prefiguring an elaborate enameling. The plaque with the handle in the center of the lid shows the coat of arms of Carl Philipp Baron of Greiffenclau zu Vollrads (1690-1754), later Prince-Bishop (1749-1754) of Würzburg, and is inscribed: “CARL PHILIPP FREYHERR VON GREIFFENKLAU ZU VOLLRATZ”, and the lock bears the inscription: “Gemacht in G[...] Wolteræcken.” It has not yet been possible to find out more about the cabinetmaker.

Carl Philipp's parents were Johann Erwein of Greiffenclau and his first wife Anna Lioba of Sickingen. His uncle was Johann Philipp of Greiffenclau, who was Prince-Bishop of Würzburg from 1699 to 1719. He had already been a domicellar in Würzburg since 1705, then he studied in Mainz and was ordained priest in 1715. Although, he had been a member of the cathedral chapter in Würzburg since 1728, he continued to maintain ties with the archdiocese of Mainz, where he served as rector of the university from 1739-1749.

He introduced the general hymnal for the entire High Diocese of Würzburg and reformed the pharmacy and medical profession.

Carl Philipp of Greiffenclau continued Schönborn's patronage in Würzburg and, immediately after taking office, advised Balthasar Neumann again as chief building director of the Würzburg Residence.

He earned lasting renown as the commissioner of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo for the world-famous frescoes of the staircase of the Würzburg Residence. 

Height: 15.5 cm, width: 39 cm, depth: 26 cm



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