Writing Box thumbnail 1
Writing Box thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Writing Box

1200-1300 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Lower section of a writing box, brass inlaid with silver and gold. Heavily worn with much of inlay missing, and re-silvered in some areas. Decoration of fine interlacing palmettes on background on which seven medallions are overlaid. On sides of box, medallions featuring finely drawn birds, ruler with attendants, horsemen and seated figures. Bottom of box features tight arabesque scroll with central rosette.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Brass with gold and silver inlay
Brief description
Metalwork. Pen box, brass, inlaid with gold and silver, possibly Mosul, Iraq, 1200-1300.
Physical description
Lower section of a writing box, brass inlaid with silver and gold. Heavily worn with much of inlay missing, and re-silvered in some areas. Decoration of fine interlacing palmettes on background on which seven medallions are overlaid. On sides of box, medallions featuring finely drawn birds, ruler with attendants, horsemen and seated figures. Bottom of box features tight arabesque scroll with central rosette.
Dimensions
  • Length: 36.6cm
  • Depth: 9.3cm
  • Height: 5cm
Object history
The few traces that remain of the inlaid decoration indicate that this was an object of outstanding quality.
Bibliographic references
  • BOX. Damascene work of gold and silver on brass. Ancient Arabic. L.14.25in., W.3.5in., D.2in. Bought, 3l.13s. Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition, vol.1, For the Years 1852 to the End of 1867 (London: HMSO, 1868) p.4.
  • Moya Carey, "Traces of Mosul: An Inlaid Brass Pen Box in the V&A", in Art, Trade and Culture in the Islamic World and Beyond. From the Fatimids to the Mughals. Studies Presented to Doris Behrens-Abouseif, eds. Alison Ohta, J.M. Rogers and Rosalind Wade-Haddon (London: Gingko Library, 2016) pp.18-25
Collection
Accession number
3653-1855

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Record createdJune 21, 2002
Record URL
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