Enquiry about object: 1391

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Mughal Ivory Box with Silver Mounts

North India
circa 1750

length: 13.2cm, height: 5.5cm, width: 7cm, weight: 152g



UK art market

Other than for the silver hinges and catch, this elegant box is made entirely of ivory, including the rivets and pegs that hold it together.

All four sides and the lid are carved finely with typically Islamic-Mughal floral and foliage friezes within geometric borders of a type reminiscent of the carved marble panels used in many public buildings and shrines in Mughal India.

The box retains its original silver fittings. It sits on four ivory legs. These too are original.

A penbox of similar form and with similar carved panels in the collection of the National Museum in New Delhi is illustrated in Jouquot (1977, p. 156.) Another is illustrated in Sharma (1994, p. 113).

Note: A CITES certificate will be required for this item to be sent outside the EU. We can organise this – it usually takes around one week. The item can then be legally exported from the EU to the US, Australia and most other destinations.

late 16th century marble panel (and detail) from the Amber Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Work such as this appears to be the inspiration for this box. (Image taken in 2009.)


Jouquot, C. et al, Les Ivoires, Tardy, 1977.

Sharma R.C. et al, Alamkara: 5000 Years of Indian Art, National Heritage Board (Singapore)/Mapin, 1994.

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