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Lacquered Pen Box

Maker:
Manohar (active ca. 1582–1624)
Object Name:
Pen box
Date:
late 17th–early 18th century
Geography:
Deccan or Northern India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Papier-maché; painted, gilded, and lacquered
Dimensions:
1 3/16 x 1 1/2 x 9 1/8 in. (3 x 3.8 x 23.3 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2002
Accession Number:
2002.416a, b
Not on view
The artist Manohar, who has signed his name next to the two lovers at the top of the lid, has adorned this box with a mix of images: the woman holding a tree is taken from ancient Indian sculpture, some figures have been borrowed from European pastoral scenes, and others are derived from Iranian miniatures.
Signature: Manohar

Inscription: Inscribed in Persian in nasta‘liq script in upper right-hand corner of lid:
کمترین منوهر
[Work of] the most humble Manohar
Private collection, France; [ Francesca Galloway, London, until 2002; sold to MMA]
Haidar, Navina, and Marika Sardar. "Opulence and Fantasy." In Sultans of Deccan India 1500–1700. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. no. 145, pp. 250-251, ill. pl. 145 (color).

Topsfield, Andrew, ed. "Arts of India." In In the Realm of Gods and Kings. London; New York: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2004. no. 96, pp. 234-35, ill. (color).

"'A Penbox by Manohar: an example of Safavid style painting in India' by N. Haidar." In Essays in Honour of Robert Skelton. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2004 forthcoming.



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