Small Qur'an boxes were often made of silver in the Islamic world. This one is made of fine white jade, a stone used in Mughal India to carve objects of the highest quality. The present box is evidence to the skilfulness of Mughal gem and stone carvers and is a rare specimen of this type of object in semi precious stone.
Its decoration on both sides, a rosette consisting of an open blossom at the centre surrounded by a garland of stylized flowers, is commonly found on Mughal objects from the 17th century onwards. An example, dating from the mid-17th century, is a gunpowder flask in a Private collection (see Welch, S.C.: India, Art and Culture 1300-1900, New York, 1986, pp. 262-263, no. 173). An almost identical Mughal white nephrite Qur'an box sold at Christie's, London, 20 April 1999, lot 598.