Box decorated with Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, and Ganesha

c. 1800
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Did You Know?

Shiva’s mount is the bull; the tiger is the mount of his wife.


This box is covered in a variety of birds, animals, and plants. The central motifs on the lids include images of four Hindu gods: Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, and Ganesha. The blue figures are Vishnu and Krishna, the latter of which is an incarnation of the former who is shown playing a flute. The elephant-headed Ganesha is red and accompanied by his mount, the bandicoot rat Dinka. The four-armed Shiva is paired with two animals, including a tiger and his sacred bull mount Nandi.

Small enamel boxes could be used to house many different substances, from cosmetics to spices to stimulants, including opium and paan, a digestive typically given at formal gatherings as a sign of the host’s hospitality.
Box decorated with Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, and Ganesha

Box decorated with Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, and Ganesha

c. 1800

Northwestern India, Rajasthan, Rajput Kingdom of Jaipur

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