Bidri Box for Holding Pan

Object Name: Box

Date: early–mid 17th century

Geography: Attributed to India, Deccan, Bidar

Medium: Zinc alloy; cast, engraved, inlaid with silver and brass (bidri ware)

Dimensions: H. 3 15/16 in. (9.925 cm)
W. 5 3/8 in. (13.6 cm)

Classification: Metal

Credit Line: Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art and Rogers Fund, 1996

Accession Number: 1996.3a, b


This box was probably meant to hold pan, the digestif made of a betel leaf rolled with lime paste and spices. Its robust architectonic form, reminiscent of early Islamic architecture in India, is a perfect foil for the bold rhythms of the arabesque designs that dominate its surface.