Description & Technical information

Of rectangular form, this beautifully detailed ebony box is richly decorated with fine ivory inlay of flowers connected by scrolling vines. Centred on the cover, there is a coat-of-arms which strongly indicates that this box was made specifically for the Western European market. The cover opens upwards to reveal two elaborate silver hinges in trefoil form and a large storage space, ink well, and  hidden compartments. It also has silver mounts, handles, hinges and a lock. 
This box is typical of so-called “Vizagapatnam boxes” made during the first quarter of the eighteenth century. There is an ivory inlaid ebony box dating to 1720-30 held in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam which is attributed to Vizagapatnam (Accession Number: BK-2012-1). Yet, the Rijksmuseum also attributes another similar document box to Masulipatnam (Accession Number: NG-854).

Date:  ca.1720-40
Period:  18th century
Origin:  Vizagapatnam or Masulipatnam
Medium: Ebony
Categories: Jewellery, Oriental and Asian Art