Jewelry box

P. Ben

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 520

An ambitious design for this type of miniature casket, this box is topped with a small coffer lid—instead of a handle—that slides open and could have held tiny treasures. Its decoration combines scenes from the ancient Roman poet Ovid’s Metamorphoses with emblems of love, likely drawn from Otto van Veen’s Amorum Emblemata. The romantic themes of this iconography associate this precious box with rituals of courtship or marriage.

Jewelry box, P. Ben, Silver, engraved; brass, partially gilt, German, probably Nuremberg or Flemish

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