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Indian ivory box copy.jpg

An Indian ivory box with a depiction of the myth of the four clever boys and the lion who killed them

19th century

The rectangular box densely carved in relief, the lid with a depiction of a lion and children.

H. 6.4 x W. 17.3 x D. 11.9 cm



There is an Indian Myth of the foolish four brothers who tried to be clever and the lion who killed them. The four brothers tried to prove to each other how clever they were by bringing to life a lion; not a very wise thing to do. It is one of the twenty-five riddles told by the wily spirit Betal to the wise king Vikram while sitting on the king’s shoulder. The decoration on top of the box may represent these two thousand five-hundred-year-old Indian myth.

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