This Papier or Paper Mache box is the finest and highest form of Papier Mache art, which is very rarely done nowadays. Only the finest Papier Mache artisans indulge in creating such intricate art as it needs absolute dedication, skill, finesse and above all lot of time to complete such ornate object.
It’s hard to believe that these pieces begin as molded paper pulp. While the basic shape comes from a mold, the last layer before painting is freshly applied, and sculpted (or embosses) by hand. After passing through the hands of several artisans and craftsmen, each specializing in a specific layer of process, an object of exquisite beauty comes to life. These artisans have inherited the essential skills and aesthetic intelligence that it takes to fashion this art.
Papier Maché (Paper Mache) is a delicate decorative art which shows the artistic zeal of a craftsman. The embossed paper mache decorative art has simply transformed the traditional craft and taken it to new glory. In embossed paper mache after the form of an object is created by using regular paper mache process. Instead of directly starting the hand painting process, the artisans have to first emboss painting like courtroom or royal court scenes by carving each figure and objects by chiseling using fine traditional tools by hand. The fine carving gives life like form to each object and recreates the courtroom drama in 3d. Various story like scenes are created through out body of the elephant. You can best view these scenes by enlarging the pictures (Click on the top left icon on the images to view full scale images). This art was introduced in Kashmir in the 15th Century by a Kashmiri Prince who spent years in prison at Samarkand in Central Asia. The art born in the land of Persia was highly favored by Mughal Emperors of 15th and 16th Century.