Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Casket


Artist/maker unknown, Indian or Pakistani

Made in Gujarat, India, Asia
or Sindh, Pakistan, Asia

Mid- 17th century

Wood and metal; interior decorated with paint and gold leaf

11 1/8 × 18 3/8 × 11 1/4 inches (28.3 × 46.7 × 28.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

* Gallery 229, Asian Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift from the Samuel Yellin Collection in memory of Stella Kramrisch, 1993

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This casket was probably made as a dowry chest. Around the exterior and interior, scenes typical of court painting are depicted: feasting, dancing, hunting, and romance. Some of the couples are intended as generic representations of lovers. Others can be identified as particular lovers from literature: for example, the Persian tale of Layla and the emaciated Majnun, who pines for his lost love, is depicted on the panel at right (above the camel). Literary lovers were so popular that they could be portrayed without any corresponding text and thus adapted to nontextual formats such as furniture.

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