Furniture, Works of Art and Clocks - 04 Jul 2018


A 19th century Anglo-Indian ivory and sadeli mosaic games table

£6,000 - £8,000

λ A 19th century Anglo-Indian ivory and sadeli mosaic games table, inlaid with pewter and with green stained borders and panels, the octagonal top inlaid with bands of geometric decoration and with a chequer board, the frieze with four sandalwood drawers, two plush lined for chess / games pieces, one fitted with divisions for pens and ink with two glass wells and with a lined writing surface, the other fitted for sewing with five lidded compartments, thimble and reel holders and a pin cushion, on an octagonal tapering chevron decorated stem and conforming quatre-form base, with sunken brass castors, Western India, probably Bombay, 74.5cm high, 66.3cm wide.

See Amin Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, p.315 fig. 130 for a photograph of a similar table exhibited by Framjee Pestonjee Bhumgara's stall, Pondicherri Court, Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1889.

The method of veneering sadeli mosaic involves the binding together of geometrically-shaped rods, each about two feet in length, of various materials, for example: tin, ivory, stained ivory, sappan wood, horn and ebony. They are arranged geometrically and then sliced through transversely and arranged into sheets of repeating patterns which are then glued onto the carcass. The main centre of production in India was Bombay and the earliest known pieces appear to have been produced in the first decade of the 19th century. Commonly produced items veneered in sadeli were small, portable boxes, writing-cases, ink-stands, letter-openers and picture-frames. Chairs and gaming-tables are known but relatively rare.


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