I really am still here... just very busy, it won't last too much longer. In the meantime it occurred to me to point you to an article I wrote about the Italian Hope Chest (cassone in Italian) for TuttoRicamo. (**This article can now be found here)
It is a subject that fascinates me. Do you see the two ladies in the background of this marvelous Titian painting digging in what looks like a matching pair of cassoni?
A great book in English on painted cassoni of the Renaissance is The Triumph of Marriage by Cristelle Baskins. The painting above was done for a cassone by Botticelli and depicts the story of Lucrezia.
Venus of Urbino painted in 1538 by Titian - image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Story of Lucrezia painted between 1496 and 1504 by Botticelli - image courtesy of Wikipedia.