Container for Spices (Primary Title)
Container for Spices or Cosmetics (Alternate Title)

Unknown (Artist)

19th century
enamel, gilded-silver alloy, gold foil or leaf, solder
India,Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow
Overall: 5 3/4 × 6 1/2 in. (14.61 × 16.51 cm)
This complex footed container is fashioned from more than fifty pieces of gilded, carved, and enameled silver sheet. Containers of this type were probably used to hold either cosmetics or the aromatic spices that were ingredients for the digestive concoction called pan. The heart-shaped lids of its six compartments suggest the latter use, as they approximate the form of betel leaves, in which pan's spices are wrapped. The technique and palette of the object's decoration is characteristic of the enamel artists of Lucknow, capital of the princely state of Awadh.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.