Mughal Pandan Box

(inclusive of taxes)

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This item cannot be shipped outside India.


Size (WxDxH): 5.5 x 5.5 x 4 inches
Medium: Brass


This is a Deccan or Mughal cast brass, pandan with open fretwork in geometric designs. The piece has a broad base and convex sides, with a domed lid that has a rounded finial at the top. These early pandans had no compartments inside and so were probably used for serving ready rolled paan. Paan consists of slices of betel nut mixed with lime paste and wrapped in betel leaf. Similar style pandans attributed to the Deccan can be found in Christie's, Bonhams, and Sotheby’s. A comparable example can also be found in Mark Zebrowski's "Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India", in cat. 455a and b, p.267, which Zebrowski describes as “typical of the Persianate taste of the Deccan where the naturalistic floral ornament of Mughal India is notably absent.”
The history of chewing paan dates back about 2,500 years and its beautifully crafted accessories elevated it to a level of ceremony, much like the Japanese and tea. The word pandan was coined during the Sultanate and Mughal period joining the Hindi word paan to the Persian suffix dan. “The offering of the royal paan to a courtier was a sign of extraordinary favour, and an even greater honour would be the offering of the betel container (pandan),” says Mark Zebrowski, author of "Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India".