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South Indian; India

Casket circa 1875

Sandalwood and gold | 17.6 x 28.7 x 18.7 cm (whole object) | RCIN 11313

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This address casket is embellished with depictions of Hindu deities. This type of decoration was known as swami (god) work and was used to embellish metalwork produced for the export market by craftsmen based in Madurai. The corners of this casket show yalis (mythical elephantheaded lions), which are also depicted in South Indian temples where they were carved in the round to function as pillars.