119
119
A Nasrid bone and wood marquetry box, Spain, 15th century
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT
119
A Nasrid bone and wood marquetry box, Spain, 15th century
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Arts of the Islamic World

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London

A Nasrid bone and wood marquetry box, Spain, 15th century
with rectangular sliding lid, the interior divided into four compartments with bands of geometric inlay and red and green colouring, the exterior and part of interior decorated in green-dyed bone taracea, with various types of wood in a mosaic design  
10.1 by 21.8 by 4.2cm. 
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Catalogue Note

This box, with a sliding lid and divided into various compartments, was most probably used to store weights, although similar examples have also been said to hold writing utensils. The origin of this model can be traced back to ninth/tenth-century Egypt, as demonstrated by an example in the Louvre Museum, Paris (inv. no.MAO 324), described as a "money changer's scale box". The taracea technique was favoured in Spain (the dyed bone and wood sections are applied to the surface as mosaics), and a casket using this type of decoration, attributed to Granada fifteenth century, is in the Al-Sabah collection, Kuwait (Riyadh 1985, p.201, no.176). The interior is reminiscent of an ivory sculpted box attributed to Sicily or Al-Andalus, circa twelfth century, in the Museo de la Catedral-Basilica de San Martin de Ourense, inv. no.OR-CAT-MUS 425 (Alhambra 2013-14, p.192, cat.155). Another close example, said to have held the writing utensils of 'hl Leopold', (possibly Leopold III, 1073-1136 AD), is illustrated in Berlin 1989, p.198, nos.220 and 221. For geometric square tesserae, see a pyxis in the Instituto Valencia de Don Juan, Madrid, inv.4867 (Alhambra 2013-14, p.193, cat.158).

Arts of the Islamic World

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London