An oval carved soapstone lidded trinket box with floral mother of pearl inlay from India. The box measures 6" long, 4 1/4" wide, and 1" deep. There is a tiny 1/2" chip along the bottom edge that is barely noticeable. Otherwise, the condition is very good.
Mother of Pearl, also known as Nacre, is a material secreted by the epithelial cells of the mantle tissue in oysters and other mollusks. The material is continuously deposited onto the inner surface of the shell, the iridescent nacreous layer, which helps defend the mollusk's soft tissues against parasites and debris by entombing them in successive layers of nacre, forming either a blister pearl (attached to interior of shell) or free pearl.