This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in: English.

Name of Object:

Lunch box


Los Angeles, United States of America

Holding Museum:

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

About Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles

Date of Object:

Hegira second half of the 9th century / AD second half of the 15th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Bronze, engraved and tinned


15.24 x 40.64 x 24.13 cm

Period / Dynasty:





This curious object was probably used to store food for a member of the ruling military elite in late medieval Egypt and Syria while he was travelling. The status of its owner is indicated by the heraldic device or blazon repeated in medallions on the cover and body of the box. Perhaps as a means of travelling light, the cover may have served a secondary function as a dish; when turned upside down the round handle would become the foot of a nicely sized dining vessel. Just as today, this fifteenth-century traveller sought to maintain all the comforts of home.

Citation of this web page:

 "Lunch box" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;us;Mus21;17;en

MWNF Working Number: US1 17


 Artistic Introduction

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

MWNF Galleries

Calligraphy Metalwork


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