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A work made of wood, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, silver, glass, and paint.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, silver, glass, and paint.


c. 1750


Probably Lima

About this artwork

This coffer, or box, reflects a blending of designs: octagonal spice boxes from India; inlay techniques of mother-of-pearl from Japan; and in the interior, gold-painted scenes—a hut, figures, and birds in an imaginary landscape—from Chinese lacquer screens. Lima craftsmen absorbed all of these influences from the traffic of Asian goods through the Philippines and other Spanish Pacific colonies. This piece served as a receptacle for jewelry, combs, and other materials for a member of colonial Peru’s wealthy class to prepare at their toilet, a European aristocratic morning custom of formally donning dress, cosmetics, and jewelry that found its way to the Americas.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Artist unknown




Lima department (Object Probably made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1725–1775


Wood, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, silver, glass, and paint


13.4 × 41.3 × 41 cm (5 1/4 × 16 1/4 × 16 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Neville and John H. Bryan and Roger and J. Peter McCormick endowment funds

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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