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Games box

Games box

  • Place of origin:

    Mysore (made)

  • Date:

    1825-1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Rosewood, inlaid with ivory, with brass mounts

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This games box originated at the court of the Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar III. He was ruler of Mysore from 1794 to 1868 and a skilful games player. His abiding interest in the board games of his own country led him to develop both variations of existing games and entirely new ones. The 11 games in this box vary from complicated to very simple. The inlays suggest that the box was originally issued with ornate pieces that were kept in the two storage drawers.

Physical description

Games box, blackwood, inlaid with ivory, with lacqured brass mounts. The box has a draw for games pieces and fold out sections on the top to accomodate different games.

Place of Origin

Mysore (made)


1825-1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Rosewood, inlaid with ivory, with brass mounts


Height: 17.5 cm, Width: 36 cm, Depth: 36 cm

Object history note

This compendium of games is cleverly designed to accomodate four different South Indian games, with drawers for the pieces. The recessed mounts are clearly influenced by contemporary campaign furniture, which was widely used among the British in India during this period.

Descriptive line

Rosewood games box inlaid with ivory and with brass mounts, Mysore (South India), early 19th century.

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

Jaffer, A. Furniture from British India and Ceylon: a catalogue of the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001. ISBN 1 85177 318 5.p.161, pl.25
Jaffer, Amin, 'The Furniture of Play : Games Boards and Boxes in India' in Topsfield, Andrew (ed), 'The Art of Play : Board and Card Games of India', Mumbai, Marg Publications, 2006. pp.128-9 and 134-5.
pps.78 and 79
Jackson, Anna and Ji Wei (eds.) with Rosemary Crill, Ainsley M. Cameron and Nicholas Barnard, compiled by the Palace Museum, translated by Yuan Hong, Qi Yue and Liu Ran. The Splendour of India' Royal Courts : Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Beijing: the Forbidden City Publishing House, 2013. Text in English and Chinese. ISBN 9787513403917.
Luxury goods from India : the art of the Indian cabinet maker / Amin Jaffer. London: V&A Publications, 2002 Number: 1851773819


Ph_survey; Games; India Museum


South & South East Asia Collection

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