India, Gujarat, probably Ahmedabad
Wood (teak); veneered with ebony, inlaid ivory, and lac
H. 3 2/8 in. (8.3 cm), W. 13 1/2 in. (34 cm), L. 5 11/16 in. (14.5 cm)
Cynthia Hazan Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2000 (2000.301)
Fine ivory inlaid furniture such as this represents an active export market from Mughal India to Europe from the late sixteenth century onward. While many Europeanizing elements are evident in the decoration of this box, the idiom is essentially a Mughal one. Such hunting scenes find their ultimate inspiration in Persian compositions, which in turn became popular in Mughal painting. The undulating branches of the bird-filled trees against which Portuguese hunters and animals have been set make this one of the most expressive pieces of its type.