Miniature bureau-cabinet

This ivory veneered cabinet is elaborately decorated with architectural scenes of buildings and pavilions with trees, occasionally with European figures standing nearby. Floral borders surround the decorative panels. It is a miniature version of an English bureau-cabinet, which were typically used for writing and storing documents. Scaled down versions like this were probably used as display pieces and to store personal effects. It was made in Vizagapatam, a port on the Coromandel Coast which was known for producing fine examples of inlaid bureau-bookcases, toilet mirrors, chairs and various types of boxes, as well as textiles. The fine harbour and a textile-producing workshops attracted European settlement and introduced a demand locally for western-style furniture. This furniture was also exported, particularly to England.

Date/Period
Late 18th century
Region
Vizagapatam, India
Dimension
Object size: 41.5 x 64.5 x 19.4 cm
Accession No.
2014-00704
Material
Ivory veneered rosewood, engraved and highlighted with lac, wood, metal
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Furniture