A colonial east Indian ebony and ivory inlaid padouk and mahogany bureau cabinet, profiled top above a pair of panelled doors, the fall front enclosing numerous drawers, one with the initials 'HCL' and dated 1793, the lower part with large drawers. Presumably Vizagapatam, late 18th century. Later not original top with three vases and openwork lattice is enclosed. H. 250 cm. W. 126 cm. D. 60 cm.
This bureau cabinet is an example of colonial East Indian work and most likely from Vizagapatam in the province of Andra Pradesh.
In the first half of the 18th century joiners of the Kamsali caste started to combine their skills in inlaid ivory with western European cabinet-making techniques based on Dutch, English or Portuguese models. The products were made to accommodate the taste of European settlers and traders.
Literature: Amin Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, 2001.
Similar pieces of furniture at the collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.