This box is an extraordinary example of luxury woodwork production in Spain under the Nasrid dynasty (1232-1492). Probably used by a scribe to store writing implements, it conforms to a tradition of wood inlay that can be seen on a variety of Islamic objects and furniture pieces, such as doors and mosque pulpits. Small tassels of ebony, colored wood, and bone are used to fill the elaborate star-shaped patterns decorating the surface. The stars are distributed in square and rectangular compartments surrounded by frames of varying widths filled with combinations of geometric motifs. The Nasrids, best known for their luxurious palace at the Alhambra, were the last Islamic dynasty to rule Spain before the Christian reconquista, or recapture, of the Iberian peninsula, which was completed in 1492 by Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.


Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Artist
Spanish (Nasrid)
Title
Scribe's Box
Date
late 15th century
Medium
Wood, bone, metal, and pigments
Dimensions
9 3/4 × 21 1/2 × 12 1/2 in. (24.8 × 54.6 × 31.8 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by the 2010 Art of the Islamic Worlds Gala

Current Location
The Caroline Wiess Law Building
111M NEW ACQUISITIONS GALLERY
Accession Number
2010.224
Classification
Wood Objects
Provenance

Don Jose Moragas Pomar, Barcelona; purchased by MFAH, 2010.