Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Inlaid Box for the Portuguese Market

Object Name:
India, Gujarat, probably Ahmedabad
Wood (teak); veneered with ebony, inlaid ivory, and lac
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)
Credit Line:
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2000
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
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.
Private collection, Lisbon; [ Manuel Castilho Antiques, London, by 1999–2000; sold to MMA]
New York. Asia Society. "In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Arts of India, Selections from the Polsky Collections and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 14, 2004–January 2, 2005.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 59 (2000–2001). p. 15, ill. (color).

Topsfield, Andrew, ed. "Arts of India." In In the Realm of Gods and Kings. London; New York: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2004. no. 125, pp. 286-287, ill. p. 287 (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 267, pp. 341, 378-379, ill. p. 378 (color).

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