Decorative boxes are not only for storage purpose, they have an artistic touch and are excellent gift items. Traditionally, decorative boxes were made of metals such as brass, copper, gold and silver and were called caskets, today even marble, wood and plastics are used to make such artistic boxes. Even with hard paper and cardboard you can easily make one at home. They serve different purpose as well, such as-
Wooden boxes are available in different shapes and sizes, square, rectangular, hexagon and even oval. Women in the middle ages would not do without wood boxes in their wardrobes. In India, wooden boxes were pan case, jewelry boxes and a place to keep equipments for hand embroidery work such as needle and thread. Even today, wood carvings are popular buys and you can gift them stuffed with chocolates, accessories and also a book. The wood handicraft industry in India is flourishing and you can buy polished to seasoned wood boxes at affordable rates. From dark brown, to maroon and matte finish, you have wide range of colors in wood to choose from.
These boxes are widely made in Rajasthan and Agra, the Mughal city. Gemstone art work has its origin in Rajasthan where the Rajput rulers patronized gemstone painting and also making of boxes studded of expensive stones. The box can be made of wood or marble with stones embellishment on them. Ruby, amethysts and emerald green are some of the popular stones used for decoration. Gemstone boxes are highly expensive with prices varying according to the art and type of stones used.
Meenakari is another art form of Rajasthan that also gained popularity in the state of Gujarat. Often gilded in gold and silver, meenakari work on boxes is an excellent example of local craftsmanship that developed during the Mughal era. On silver, brass and bronze, the work has a charming appeal. The color enameling are mostly in bright red, orange, green and turquoise blue. It can be a pleasant surprise for your women on anniversary and Valentines Day. A vintage gift, meenakari work boxes are popular buy for tourists as well.
Rajasthani boxes are marble and wood made with famous Jaipuri or meenakari work on them. Local households use them as jewelry cases as well. Many keep Rajasthani boxes as decorative items at home. Married Hindu women use small boxes studded with mirrors as vermillion caskets.
Handmade paper boxes with paintings, metal boxes with glass lids and complete silver or gold made make excellent jewelry boxes. Women use them to keep their jewelry and accessories. A box may have separate cabinets for earrings, finger rings and cosmetics. Modern jewelry boxes are easy to carry on trips and vacations too.