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Magazine rack
  • Magazine rack
    Bombay Art Furnishing Establishment
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Magazine rack

  • Place of origin:

    Bombay (made)

  • Date:

    1890-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bombay Art Furnishing Establishment (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Joined rosewood frame, with panels of lacquer, rosewood veneer and ebonised wood

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The design of this piece effectively demonstrates just how international design had become by the late nineteenth century. Though it was produced in Bombay, this rosewood and laquer magazine rack was made in the Anglo-Japanese style that became fashionable in Britain beginning in the 1870s. Though we know very little about the manufacturer, The Bombay Art Furnishing Establishment, it was one of the few firms who could supply such up-to-date 'art furniture' in India in the 1890s. Such products were popular with the many Britons working in government administration and the army in India.

Physical description

A tall magazine rack in East Indian rosewood, with a panel of lacquer. The magazine rack consists of a rectangular case with an upright in each corner that extends down to form the legs. The case is open and is defined by a number of symmetrically arranged square-section rails. The top is divided into two open sections for holding magazines, divided from each other with a pair of X-shaped rails.The front and back of the upper register of the case are each mounted with a cetnrally positioned rectangular panel, the front panel of lacquer and depicting birds amidst foliage, and the back panel of ebonized wood. The front and back of the lower register of the case are each mounted with a panel in contrasting rosewood. Each side of the lower register is pierced with two scalloped reserves. In between the lower edge of the case and the legs are spandrel brackets defined by three cubes. The underside of the front edge of the case is mounted with a brass plaque stamped:' THE BOMBAY/ ART FURNISHING/ ESTABLISHMENT'. The legs are raked and terminate in elongated squared scroll feet, each pair of legs joined by a stretcher. The lacquer panel is chipped.

Place of Origin

Bombay (made)


1890-1900 (made)


Bombay Art Furnishing Establishment (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Joined rosewood frame, with panels of lacquer, rosewood veneer and ebonised wood

Marks and inscriptions

1) Makers's mark; English; Roman capitals; Stamped; Brass


Height: 85 cm, Width: 45.5 cm, Depth: 30.5 cm

Descriptive line

Indian 1875-80 man. Bombay Art Furnishing Est.

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

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, ISBN 1 85177 318 5, no. 174, pp. 358-9.

Labels and date

INDIAN: 1870-1880
Designer unknown
Made by the Bombay Art Furnishing Establishment, Bombay, India

The design of this rack effectively demonstrates the international nature of late nineteenth century design. Though made in Bombay, it is in the Anglo-Japanese style, and whilst such pieces were probably sold in India, it is likely that they were imported into England for sale. [pre October 2000]
[Influence of Japan, gallery 125 ]
[Disc 2]


This rack is designed in the 'Anglo-Japanese' style associated with E.W. Godwin and labelled with the name of the firm that made it. Furniture in this style was made in Bombay in response to the large demand from British people then living in India.

Rosewood, with lacquer panel
Manufactured by the Bombay Art Furniture Establishment, Bombay
Museum no. W.15-1988 [01/10/2008]

Production Note

The Bombay Art Furnishing Establishment was first recorded in Bombay trade directories in 1904 but was probably producing furniture at least a decade earlier


Rosewood; Lacquer


Joinery; Painting; Carving; Painting




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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