Toledo Damascene Box

  • This beautiful Spanish damascene box hails from 19th century Toledo
  • Intricately decorated using the Damascene technique, gold and platinum inlay form geometric motifs
  • Made for Spanish markets, the box bears the Islamic phrase "La Illah Illa Allah"
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-6058

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Intricately inlaid with gold and platinum, this Damascene iron covered box features sumptuous geometric patterning and arabesque motifs. Originally conquered in the 8th century by the Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus, Toledo served as the capital of the Taifa kingdom of Al-Andalus and spent nearly 400 years under Muslim rule until the city was claimed by King Alfonso VI of Castile in 1085. The city has long the European center of Damascening, a later inlay technique originally brought to Spain from Syria. Before the advent of modern technology that allows the objects to be made by machine, Damascene craftsmen would skillfully inlay gold wire into an undercut groove into the surface of other metals like bronze, iron or black steel. Boxes such as this would have been created for markets in Spain, and in many ways reflect the rich cultural tapestry of the Spanish city.

Inscription: "La Illah Illa Allah"
"There is no god but god"

Signed by artist M. Alvarez

Circa 1870
Toledo Damascene Box
Type: Other
Depth: 3.88 Inches
Width: 3.88 Inches
Height: 6.25 Inches
Toledo Damascene Box
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