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Foot-rest in pietra dura

India, second half of the 17th century - 18th century
Marble inlaid with semi-precious stones
L. 32 cm; W. 7.5 cm
Musée du Louvre, DAI, acquired 1986
MAO 769

With its inlaid decor of semi-precious stones this four-legged support is a particularly refined object, and was probably used in aristocratic homes as a small table (the examples depicted in miniature paintings are shown supporting vases of flowers, flasks, chests and even a musician’s drum), but most likely of all as a foot-rest.
Two techniques were employed in the production of the décor: sculpture and inlay. Sculpture is used for the deep groove surrounding the object, for the fruit-shaped legs entwined in four leaves, and for the five-petal flower in full bloom which stands out in high relief in the centre of the obverse. Hardstone inlay, known in Mughal India as parchin kari, was used for the band of conventional flowers with six heart-shaped petals framed by two double black-line borders, and for the complex central rosette which spreads out into the four carnelian flowers with pointed, curved petals on the sides of the square, and into the four lapis-lazuli irises in the corners.

Foot-rest in pietra dura
Foot-rest in pietra dura
MAO 769
© RMN / Berizzi