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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]
"'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.

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).

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).



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