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Casket

National Heritage Board, Singapore

National Heritage Board, Singapore

Perhaps India, Goa, 2nd half of the 16th century
Gold, traces of enamel
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon

This casket was used in Eucharistic rituals. It held the host and was placed inside a tortoiseshell casket; both were then placed within an enormous rock crystal chest to create an awe-inspiring presence on the altar during the Mass.

Made in gold filigree, the overall scheme of geometric patterns and rosettes resembles Islamic ornamentation. The lock was once enamelled in green and red. The casket was given in the early 17th century to an Augustinian monastery in honour of Afonso de Albuquerque, governor of Portuguese India from 1509 to 1515.

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  • Title: Casket

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