A rare 17th Century Indian mother-of-pearl and red lac casket

A rare 17th Century Indian mother-of-pearl and red lac casket

The small rectangular-shaped brass chest applied with lobed mother-of-pearl sections within contours of rectangular-shaped plaques, embellished with six Indian foliate motifs in red lac, the vaulted lid similarly-applied, opening to reveal an interior entirely composed of mother-of-pearl, upon sculpted feet, 17th Century, Gujarat, India. Note: During the 16th and 17th Centuries, examples of mother-of-pearl inlaid artefacts were imported into Portugal from India and found themselves in many royal households of Europe, including Henry VIII as recorded upon his death in 1547, however few examples of comparable caskets are known to have survived. One such small chest is in the Ashmolean Museum, and the Victoria & Albert museum exhibited an example in the 1986 during an exhibition titled “The Indian Heritage: Court Life and Arts Under Mughal Rule’. Traditionally made in Gujarat from the shell of the Turbo marmoratus, a nocturnal snail, these beautiful objets were also highly prized by the Mughal Emperors of India. With some later restoration.

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