Image loading...

A Fine Ivory and Ebony- Inlaid Sandalwood Gaming Board, with Silver Hinges, Lock and associated Iron key , Vizagapatam, India, circa 1800


In the 18th century the Indian port of Vizagapatam, located on the northern Coromandel coast, was the most popular destination for both very keen Western and Indian elite clients, for Vizagapatam was very well-known for its very fine furniture making.
Skillful Indian artists and craftsmen were able to produce extremely fine and high quality furniture and were able to incorporate both Western and Indian tastes in their furniture making.
Fine and elaborate carved and engraved ivory inlaid furniture was a major theme of Vizagapatam furniture making.
Alongside ivory, other fine materials were also used in the Vizagapatam furniture making, such as high quality engraved wood, buffalo horn, porcupine quill and tortoise shell.
European clients brought back home magnificent pieces of Vizagapatam furniture, that were highly appreciated, enjoyed, very well maintained and looked after.
For that reason such high quality pieces can be found in the western fine art market.
Our current lot is composed of two rectangular sections hinged together with two silver hinges, the ivory carcass veneered throughout with ebony and sandalwood, the interior with recessed backgammon board with alternating ivory and ebony arcades separated by sandalwood plaques.
The sandalwood centre is boarded by a parallel framed ivory strips decorated with a simple engraved and highlighted with black lac chain design, a round ivory disk is inlaid at the centre.
The exterior is decorated with a chessboard, with squares alternately designed with plain ivory and sandalwood, bordered at the ends by dotted ivory panels, the ivory outer edges are engraved and highlighted with black lac in the form of chain and floral designs.

For similar example please see, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, by Amin Jaffer, A catalogue of the collections in victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum, lot 53, pages 209-210.
For another almost identical example bought by lady Clive at Vizagapatam in 1801 please see, Treasures from India, The Clive Collection at Powis Castle, by Mildred Archer, Christopher Rowell and Robert Skelton, lots 106 & 107 pages 83-84.

Condition: Very Good, minor rubbing and repair.Dimensions:
Game Board folded,
Length 46 cm
Width 23.5 cm
Height 9.5 cm
Game Board Open
Length 52.5 cm
Width 47 cm
  • Identification Number: 78

© 2015 - Indian Antiques, Islamic Antiques shop in London