Description & Technical information

This exceptionally large octagonal teak box is decorated with ebony and ivory inlay of symmetrically arranged dragon-like animals with stylised floral decoration and later added gilt-bronze fittings. The decoration with stylised dragons or makaras is most likely derived from Indian mythology. The style depicted on this spice box closely resembles the Contador cabinets that were made in Goa for the Portuguese during the 17th century. The shape of the box is unparalleled in this group of Goanese marquetry furniture made predominately for the Portuguese market. The spice box depicted here is the only known example of its kind and is thus extremely rare.

Date:  2nd half of the 17th century
Period:  1600-1750, 17th century
Origin:  Goa
Medium: Ivory, Ebony
Dimensions: 19.5 x 53 x 55 cm (7⁵/₈ x 20⁷/₈ x 21⁵/₈ inches)
Categories: Oriental and Asian Art