Rosewood and Ivory Table Cabinet
The high quality and design of this rectangular table cabinet is made of rosewood inlaid with ivory and engraved and highlighted with lac. The cabinet has two doors, of which a fitted lock with key is mounted on the right-hand side whilst there is also a latch on the bottom left-hand door. There is a locked drawer beneath these two doors. Inside the cabinet there is one removable shelf, also made of rosewood, which splits the interior into two compartments.
The floral patterns on the exterior of the cabinet are typical of the work executed by ivory-inlaying workshops operating in Mysore in Southern India since the late 19th century. In particular, the decorations on the cabinet consist of centrally positioned bold quatrefoils framed by borders of stylised scrolling feather-like leaves and quatrefoils, outlined with ivory stringing. The cabinet stands on four bun feet, each inlaid with a ring of ivory circles.
The earliest example of this style of workmanship is a pair of doors in the Gumbaz, which is the mausoleum erected by Tipu Sultan for his father, Hyder Ali (d. 1782), in the Lal Bagh gardens at Seringapatam.1 There are also Mysore objects with similar designs held in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, including a table (Museum Number: IM.233-1927) and a writing cabinet (Museum Number: IM.194-1927).
1. Amin Jaffer. 2001. Furniture from British India and Ceylon. London: V&A Publications. p.160.