Made at a time when Cornell incorporated anecdotes into his objects,
this box contains the following legend:
"On a moonlit night in the winter of 1855 the carriage of Maria Taglioni was halted by a Russian highwayman, and that ethereal creature commanded to dance for this audience of one upon a panther's skin spread over the snow beneath the stars. From this little actuality arose the legend that, to keep alive the memory of this adventure so precious to her, Taglioni formed the habit of placing a piece of ice in her jewel casket or dressing table drawer where melting among the sparkling stones, there was evoked a hint of the starlit heavens over the ice-covered landscape."
"A Joseph Cornell Album," by Dore Ashton. Da Capo Press, 1974.
(Collection Richard L. Feigen, New York City and Bedford, N.Y.
photo Eric Pollitzer)