Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Furniture

Furniture

  • Place of origin:

    Kashmir (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Papier Mache, painted and varnished

  • Credit Line:

    Given by HM Queen Victoria

  • Museum number:

    5 to J-1852

  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, Room 41, case 28A []

This writing box of painted and varnished papier mache was made to contain pens, ink and other equipment for writing. Decorative papier mache was a speciality of Kashmir and was made for both the local and European markets. Painted and varnished wood was often used in place of true papier mache from the later 19th century onwards, but the finest work was produced by building up layers of moistened paper in a mould to the required shape, which was then smoothed, painted and varnished.
The box was given by Queen Victoria in 1852, the year in which the Museum's collections began to be acquired.

Physical description

Writing box, with stand or tray, containing various instruments. Papier mache, painted and varnished. The box sits in a tray in the shape of an elongated octagon. The tray has eight feet, arranged in pairs. Its decoration consists mainly of gold painted flower motifs on blue and green grounds, with another band of red and blue flowers with white details and green stems on a gold ground. The box has a metal clasp. It is predominantly painted with gold flowers on a dark blue ground. There are two inscriptions on the lid in Arabic script.

Place of Origin

Kashmir (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1850 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Papier Mache, painted and varnished

Marks and inscriptions

There are two inscriptions on the lid in Arabic script, presumably in Persian or Urdu.

Dimensions

Height: 3.25 in Box, Length: 11.5 in Box, Width: 3.5 in Box, Length: 13.875 in Tray, Width: 5.625 in Tray

Object history note

Given by Queen Victoria. Described in the South Kensington Museum Inventory as having come from Lahore and as 'modern' (in 1852).

Descriptive line

Writing box, Papier mache, painted and varnished, Srinagar, Kashmir.

Labels and date

4. WRITING BOX
Papier mache, painted and varnished
Srinagar, Kashmir, c.1850.
Given by HM Queen Victoria

PEN BOX
Papier mâché, painted and varnished
Kashmir
c. 1850

5-1852
Given by HM Queen Victoria
Kashmir was, and still is, famous for highly decorated articles made of papier mâché. Then, as now, these were made for both local and foreign markets. The finest work is produced by building up layers of moistened paper in a mould to the required shape. The object is then smoothed, painted, and varnished to make it water resistant.
GOLDEN THRONE [27/9/2013]

Materials

Papier mache; Paint; Varnish

Subjects depicted

Flowers

Categories

Household objects

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.