Indian hardwood box, the lid decorated with minature paintings of Mughal architecture in Delhi


The box, probably of ebony, is intricately decorated with floral patterns on the lid and all four sides and is raised on brass paw feet. The hinged lid has three inset Indian miniature paintings of Mughal buildings in Delhi. These are fitted in the lid by metal frames which push into carved out recesses and are protected by oval bevelled glasses. The central one, of a building which we have not yet been identified, is damaged as if by someone inadvisedly trying to clean it by rubbing. There is a good chance that one of the many miniaturists who still work in Jaipur, Agra, or Delhi could restore this. The overall measurements of the box are 340 x 160 x 150mm overall. There are minor areas of damage to corners. The central [damaged] miniature measures 128 x 82 mm and the two smaller ones measure 55 x 42mm. The flanking miniatures show the Jama Masjid [Friday Mosque]on the left and the main gateway to Lal Qila [The Red Fort] on the right. This sort of work became very popular from the mid nineteenth century, especially with British families returning from Indian service. The interior is completely plain and there is no indication of its ever having been fitted or divided in any way.

1 in stock