A project by Giuseppe Vandoni from 1867 for an offering box for the Duomo di Milano (Cart. 1, Facciata - Tav. 34), one of the many furnishings for the Cathedral to which the architect dedicated most of his life and work.
What is striking is the strange inscription "Cassa degli Incerti" [Box of the Uncertain]. What did he man by 'uncertain'? Originally this term referred to occasional income, or that which was above and beyond the regular monthly income. In particular there were the so-called "Incerti di Stola", or rather additional income for the ministers of faith on occasion of specific functions and celebrations.
With time the "Incerti di Stola" came to indicate the voluntary oblations of worshippers, which explains the presence of this inscription, the "Cassetta degli Incerti", something which to us sounds strange, but which was rather common in the 19th century and which would eventually become the "Cassetta delle offerte" [Donation Box].
This and many other interesting original documents and drawings can be viewed by appointment from Tuesday to Friday between the hours of 9:30am and 5:30pm within the Archives of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0272022656 ext. 117.