A round soapstone trinket box with Mother of Pearl stone inlay of the Taj Majal in India. The box measures 2" across and 1 1/4" high. The maker is unknown and 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.