Date: 10th Century

Place of Production: Spain

Description: This cylindrical box, known as a pyxis (Arabic ushnan), would have been used to store aromatics and cosmetics. Adorned with secular imagery, it includes interwoven vines and geometrically symmetrical birds enclosed within heart-shaped compartments, sheltered under a canopy of wide leaves.This example belongs to a group of boxes that were produced at Cordoba by master craftsmen, and may have been painted with coloured inks or gilded. The relatively simple design of this box suggests it may not have been made in the palace itself, but perhaps at a secondary location (Galan y Galindo, Angel. Marfiles medievales del Islam. 2 vols.Cordoba, 2005, p. 44).

Held at: Metropolitan Museum of New York

Accession Number: 30.95.175

Images in Public Domain