A fine pen-engraved bone-inlaid ebony document box with silver mounts
Coromandel Coast, Masulipatnam, 1730-1740
H. 9.5 x W. 30.3 x D. 22.8 cm
The box is all over decorated with fine inlays of small flowers connected by curling vines. In the middle of the lid is a plaque with a double-headed eagle, a symbol which originated from India and became very common in Sri Lanka (Bhēruņda pakshaya).
On the inside of the lid inlaid in bone, branches with small flowers emanating from a vase, and inside the box a small pen tray with a lid and a small drawer beneath.
Other document boxes, similar to the present one, often have the coat of arms of high-ranking Dutch VOC officials engraved on a plaque in the centre of the lid, such as the Falck family (c. 1730), Jan Albert Sichterman (c. 1736, director of the Bengal Coast), Jacob Mossel (c. 1740, merchant at the Coromandel Coast and later Governor-General in Batavia), Galenus Mersen (c. 1740, director of the Coromandel Coast at Masulipatnam), and Jan van Oordt (c.1740, a VOC merchant at Ambon).