Not currently on display at the V&A

Work Box

mid 19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The exterior of this workbox is decorated with a sunburst with alternating rays of wood and ivory, inlaid with sadeli, a geometric micro-mosaic composed of various woods, metals and ivory. Decorative boxes of this type were widely made in western India, especially in and around Bombay, for which reason such objects were described under the blanket heading 'Bombay boxes'. This workbox was intended to be used for needlework, and is designed to accommodate all of the accessories associated with this pastime.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Wood with ivory inlay and brass mounts
Brief description
Wooden work box, made in Bombay, mid-19th century.
Physical description
Workbox of wood, the exterior with parquetry of wood, ivory, and sadeli and ivory, the interior lined with sandalwood, with silvered brass lock and hinges.
Dimensions
  • Width: 25.2cm
  • Length: 17.3cm
  • Depth: 8cm
Marks and inscriptions
'Bombay Local No. 21/Name. Work box - Inlaid - small/Place of Production { Presidency of Bombay./Collectorate./City of/Bombay/Price Rs. 25/'
Object history
The Workbox was exhibited at the Universal Exhibition, Paris in 1867 and acquired by the India Museum for Rs. 25. Transferred from the India Museum in 1879. 1880 Register Entry: [Room 8. Wall Case 30.] '01,153. WORK BOX. Sandalwood, inlaid with ivory and mosaic; Bombay. 6,635'
Summary
The exterior of this workbox is decorated with a sunburst with alternating rays of wood and ivory, inlaid with sadeli, a geometric micro-mosaic composed of various woods, metals and ivory. Decorative boxes of this type were widely made in western India, especially in and around Bombay, for which reason such objects were described under the blanket heading 'Bombay boxes'. This workbox was intended to be used for needlework, and is designed to accommodate all of the accessories associated with this pastime.
Bibliographic reference
Jaffer, Amin Furniture from British India and Ceylon: A Catalogue of the Collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum. London : V&A Publications, 2001. 416 p., ill. ISBN 1851773185, p.321, pl.136.
Other number
6625 - India Museum Slip Book
Collection
Accession number
01153:1/(IS)

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Record createdJuly 26, 2005
Record URL
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