Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Box with cover

15th century
possibly Egyptian
Brass, inlaid with silver and niello (?)
3 × 4 1/2 in. (7.6 × 11.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
23.67.5a, b
Not on view
Round bottom boxes with lids are rare in Islamic metalwork but curiously common in the oeuvres of Mahmud al-Kurdi and Zain al-Din. The original function of this elegant little box is unknown. Sweetmeats may have been served in it, but the similarity in its size and capacity to other boxes lends support to the idea that it was used to transport pre-packed speziere minute or sottili (valuable spices exported in small quantities to Europe).
Carl Robert Lamm , Näsby Castle, Sweden (until 1923, his sale, American Art Galleries, New York, February 21–24, 1923, no. 155; sold to MMA)
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