Art/ Collection/ 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]
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).

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

Related Objects

Flower-Style Box with Drawers

Date: 17th century Medium: Wood (poplar); overlaid with ebony inlaid with wood and incised, stained ivory Accession: 1976.176.1 On view in:Gallery 464

Writing Box

Date: late 16th–early 17th century Medium: Wood; veneered with ebony, inlaid with ivory and bone (partially stained), brass (sadeli technique) Accession: 2004.439 On view in:Gallery 463

Pair of Minbar Doors

Date: ca. 1325–30 Medium: Wood (rosewood and mulberry); carved, inlaid with carved ivory, ebony, and other woods Accession: 91.1.2064 On view in:Gallery 450

Hunting Horn (Oliphant)

Date: 18th century Medium: Ivory; carved with gilded silver mounts Accession: 17.190.226 On view in:Gallery 464


Date: 18th century Medium: Wood; carved Accession: 10.84.22 On view in:Not on view