India, Gujarat, late 16th or early 17th century
Mother-of-pearl, mastic, wood, metal mounts
The decoration of this casket is testimony to the materials and specialized skills used by artists in western India who made objects for Islamic markets in the Middle East and Mughal India, as well as for Europe. Finely cut mother-of-pearl was regarded as a wonder in Renaissance Europe and the Islamic world. Pieces in shades of pink, green, and silver were carefully selected to create variety and colour gradations. Arabic inscriptions (Nastaliq script) appear on the four sides of the object.