Inlaid Box for the Portuguese Market

Object Name: Box

Date: ca.1600

Geography: Probably made in India, Gujarat, probably Ahmedabad

Medium: Wood (teak); veneered with ebony, inlaid ivory, and lac

Dimensions: H. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
W. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)
D. 5 11/16 in. (14.5 cm)
Wt. 40.2 oz. (1139.8 g)

Classification: Wood

Credit Line: Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2000

Accession Number: 2000.301


From the late sixteenth century onward, Mughal India actively exported goods to Europe, particularly to Portugal, where such inlaid work was treasured. While many Europeanizing elements are evident in the decoration of this box, the hunting scenes were originally inspired by Persian compositions, which had in turn become popular in Mughal painting. The undulating branches of the bird‑filled trees against which the European hunters and animals have been set make this one of the most expressive pieces of its type.