Writing box

The engraving on this writing box depicts the scene where God is testing Abraham’s faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son Isaac. It features three figures, a bounded figure on the left labelled ‘ISAC’, a standing figure holding a knife, in the middle labelled as ‘ABRAHA’ and lastly an unlabelled figure on the right, probably an angel of God.This writing box is one of the oldest types of decorative arts made in India for the Portuguese market and they are often made of carved and lacquered wood. The motifs featured are mainly ornamental, consisting of foliage and flowers, human figures, coats of arms and allegories and even religious motifs. Most works employ both European engravings, to cater to European patrons, and local lacquer technique.