Skip to main content
Key facts
Full title Box with cover of cylindrical form, of engraved brass inlaid with silver, with later gilding and possible addition of inner band
Artist Iranian, West , Turkish, or Mamluk, Egyptian
Date made 1400 - 1425
Medium and support Brass and silver inlay, with later gilding and possible addition of inner band
Dimensions 4.6 × 10.8 cm
Acquisition credit On loan from The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Inventory number L1265
Location Room 55
Art route(s) A
Image copyright On loan from The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Collection Main Collection
Silver inlaid brass box with lid
Iranian, West , Turkish, or Mamluk, Egyptian

In the late Middle Ages, glass, textiles, carpets, ceramics and metalwork from the Muslim Mediterranean and Mesopotamia were highly valued in Europe, because they came from the lands associated with the Old and New Testaments. Some of these objects were used in Christian rituals. These finely wrought and inlaid objects were much sought-after luxury commodities in Venice, Italy and beyond.

These brass vessels are typical examples of the objects admired by art historian Giorgio Vasari, who praised their intricacy and craftsmanship. Many were designed for export to Europe. They are inlaid with patterns in gold and silver, based on curving arabesques, as well as Arabic and fictive Arabic script. These precious objects fascinated painters all over Italy, not least the Bellini family and their followers. They appear in many paintings of sacred scenes and they inspired many of the patterned golden haloes that identify saints in 14th-century and 15th-century paintings.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo