Photo’s curtesy of the Gaetano Jr. Caso Family
You might be wondering what in the world is this a photo of? This is an amazing art form and one that might be remembered by family members, perhaps still talked about. You may be wondering who was that person that did those religious scene in the bottle? The answer was Michele (Michael) Caso (1892 – 1975), the husband of Rosa DiGirolamo.
Michael made these wonderful religious diorama’s in a bottle, how many or how many have survived, I don’t know. But I can imagine coming across one in an antique store, wondering, who was this man, this person who captured his faith in a bottle?
Michele Caso was the son of Gaetano Caso and Rita Marvulli.
He was the grandson of Michele Caso born 1839, Binetto, Bari, Italy ~ died Sept. 23, 1901 Grumo Appula, Bari, Italy and Domenica Verni born June 1, 1834, Sannicandro, Bari, ~ died June 19, 1883 Grumo Appula. Michele’s profession was a calzolaio which is a cobbler/shoemaker.
Due to the impeccable research by my Civitano cousin Peter Marino, we have wonderful documentation to support this family and I would like to share this information on his grandparents.
Birth Certificate for Michele Caso ~ 1839
Domenica Verni was the daughter of Giuseppe Verni and Vita Maria Racanelli both born in Sannicandro, Bari, Italy. Domenica was born June 1, 1834, Sannicandro.
Domenica’s Birth Certificate ~ 1834
Michele married Domenica Verni on February 13, 1858, Grumo Appula, Italy
Marriage Certificate ~ 1858
Domenica died on June 19, 1883 in Grumo Appula and Michele married almost immediately on August 30, 1883 to Angela Ceci.
Marriage Certificate for Michele Caso and Angela Ceci
What we know about Angela is that she was born August 5, 1847 in Cassano Delle Murge, Bari, Puglia, Italy. She was the daughter of Michele Ceci and Grazia Capriuplo. Angela was 36 at the time of her marriage and Michele was 50 years old.
There is only documentation for 1 child born to Michele and Domenica, which was Gaetano (1864) who our line has been following. Gaetano was already 19 by the time his mother Domenica died and had no need for care so my first question for the marriage is ~ was there younger children, siblings for Gaetano and that was the reason for Michele to remarry so quickly? Another question for me is ~ did Michele and Angela go on to have more children together? I don’t have those answers proven. Michele Caso passed away in 1901 at the age of 68 in Grumo Appula and Angela went on to live another 20 years passing in 1921 in Grumo also. There is, another researcher on ancestry who is also following this family and has posted additional children along with their spouses for both Domenica and Angela however, none of the information is documented or supported so at this time my questions will continue to go unanswered.
But this posting is really about Michele (Michael) Caso who fashioned this unique religious diorama that had been shared with me by his 2x great grandson.
This religious scene in a bottle has a timely message for many of us as we face this Corona Virus pandemic sweeping our world, our country today. It reminds us to turn to our higher power (of choice), turn to our individual faith that sees us through our daily lives, what ever that may be. As we face the unknown, the uncertainty of times, let us remember turn to that which can see us through.
Stay safe and healthy, spread calm and reassurance. Share a smile, a kind word and check in on friends and family whenever you can.
6 thoughts on “Message In A Bottle ~ Michele Caso”
Lovely post, Sharon. Such amazing documents from Italy! And that art in the bottle is fascinating. Where did you find this? Are there others?
Sorry for the delayed response. You’d think I’d have all this time to keep up with blogs, but I’ve been unable to focus. Keep the faith! And stay home!
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The photo was shared with me by his 2xgreat grandson who actually has the bottle 🙂 I don’t really know if there are any others. I hope some of the family who may see this blog might chime in on that.
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Hi Sharon, Michele Caso was my grandfather. I am his daughter, Rita’s daughter. I have a few of his bottles; and we have his homemade tools that he used to create these little works of art. All of the family was assigned the task of keeping their gum and candy wrappers and any other shiney objects for use in his bottles. As a child I would go for walks with him to look for suitable bottles. He was a fascinating, hard working man. These bottles are greatly treasured by all who are lucky enough to have one. He was a remarkable craftsman considering he was blind in one eye.
Hello Toni – It is so nice to hear from you and have you respond to this posting. What an absolutley wonderful memory of your grandfather. He sounds like an extraordinary man. I have enjoyed researching and learning about and getting to know him and his family. Thank you for sharing 🙂
My name is Linda Caso Conte. Michael Caso was my grandfather. My father Gaetano Caso was his son. I have several of the beautiful bottles that my grandfather had made. They certainly are a treasure
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So nice to hear from you. What a blessing to have them. He was an incredible artist