Spice box, anonymous, c. 1600
The spice trade was the most important goal of the journeys to Asia. Pepper, nutmeg, mace and cinnamon were very costly commodities. Accordingly, they were offered at table in an opulent manner. This spice box is in the shape of the Mauritius, one of the ships that had already successfully sailed to Asia before the VOC was founded. Its lid (the deck) conceals little compartments for different spices.