Teak, veneered with rosewood and inlaid with tropical woods, ivory and brass, with silver escutcheon and iron mounts
This cabinet originated in Gujarat, in western India. From about 1500 to 1630 cabinetmakers in this region usually decorated fall-front cabinets and boxes with inlay. This inlay ranged from sadeli (micro-mosaic work in wood and metal) to geometric, floral and figurative marquetry in wood and ivory. This cabinet is from a group with inlay of ivory (either white or stained green), a variety of woods, and brass or copper. The cabinetmaker has used a range of subjects. They include animals positioned symmetrically or chasing one another, courtiers, and armed Indian and Portuguese hunters on foot, or horse, or elephant.
Mughal design is full of hunting themes. They appear in miniature painting, carpets, clothing and metalwork. The hunting scenes on this and many related cabinets are usually thought to have been influenced by Mughal design. However, hunting themes were equally fashionable on high-quality European cabinets of the period. European cabinetmakers created hunting scenes using a variety of techniques, from inlaying materials into wood to etching on ivory. Etching on ivory allowed designers to copy images directly from printed works such as Livre de Chasse (book of hunting) (1563) by Gaston Phebus.