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  • Place of origin:

    Gujarat (possibly, made)
    Sindh (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    mid 17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood with ivory inlay and brass mounts

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mr. J.J. Wolff through The Art Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Towards the close of the 17th century two-door cabinets of this type replaced portable fall-front cabinets as the leading form produced by furniture workshops in western India. Their configuration and dimensions reflect changes in Europe in the design and use of cabinets, which were increasingly devised as showpieces, often richly decorated and mounted on stands in drawing rooms.

The decoration of the exterior of this cabinet reflects the high Mughal style of setting rows of flowering plants in alternating patterns against a plain ground. This device is characteristic of the reign of Shah Jahan and may be found adorning buildings erected by the emperor, such as the Saman Burj, Agra Fort (c. 1637). The basic formula of employing rows of flowers as a principal form of decoration remained popular to the end of the 18th century and throughout the period was applied to various media from carpets to album covers.

The taste for marrying rows of flowers to the exterior of cabinets may also have found an impetus in high-style European furniture, whose decoration also reflected the contemporary western taste for exotic blooms, whether executed in pietra dura or marquetry.

Physical description

Cabinet of hardwood, inlaid with engraved ivory, with brass lockplate and carrying handles.

Place of Origin

Gujarat (possibly, made)
Sindh (possibly, made)


mid 17th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Wood with ivory inlay and brass mounts


Height: 55 cm, Width: 84 cm, Depth: 46.2 cm

Object history note

Key labelled to this cabinet is in ST4 case 2, shelf 2 in a bag with other keys

Descriptive line


Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Art of India and Pakistan, ed. Sir Leigh Ashton, London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1950, p. 236.
p. 236, cat. no. 1276
The art of India and Pakistan, a commemorative catalogue of the exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1947-8. Edited by Sir Leigh Ashton. London: Faber and Faber, [1950]

Subjects depicted

Stylized flowers


Furniture; Woodwork


South & South East Asia Collection

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