The chest was made at the court of the king of Kotte in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and was taken as a gift to Portugal, which had conquered parts of the island earlier in the sixteenth century.
The ivory carvings depict the Ceylonese legation, dancers, musicians, people riding on elephants and scenes of homage and prayer.
Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria acquired the chest later in the century with the aid of the Fugger banking family.
Chest, detail (ivory, gold, rubies, sapphires; height 18 cm), Kotte, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), around 1543
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