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  • Object:

    Work table

  • Place of origin:

    Murshidabad (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1800 (made)
    1837 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sandalwood, veneered with carved ivory, with turned and carved solid ivory legs, and a brass lock and silvered brass hinges

  • Credit Line:

    From the Rev. N. P. Sturt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This work table consists of an ivory-veneered box on four solid ivory legs. It was designed for needlework and is fitted with compartments for spools, thimbles, needles and threads. It would originally have had a suspended pouch for storing needlework. The table was made in Murshidabad, the nawabi capital of Bengal. It was a famous centre of ivory carving where ivory workers sometimes made furniture for European customers. The carving on the legs is taken directly from plate two of The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book (1793) by Thomas Sheraton.

Physical description

The top of this Adam-style work-table acts as the lid. The table is made of sandalwood with carved ivory veneer and other carved ivory parts.

Place of Origin

Murshidabad (made)


ca. 1800 (made)
1837 (altered)



Materials and Techniques

Sandalwood, veneered with carved ivory, with turned and carved solid ivory legs, and a brass lock and silvered brass hinges


Height: 68.5 cm, Width: 30 cm, Depth: 30 cm

Object history note

Berhampur and Murshidabad were major centres of ivory carving.
Given by the Rev. N.P. Sturt.

Descriptive line

Ivory work table made in Begal, late 18th century.

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. 416 p., ill. ISBN 1851773185, p.2565, pl.86.

Skelton, Robert and Mark Francis eds., Arts of Bengal, text by Robert Skelton, John Lowry, Andrew Topsfield, Veronica Murphy and Susan Stronge, London: Whitechapel Art Gallery 1979, no.237, p.76.
ISBN 0 85488 047 X

Production Note

More likely made at Berhampur

Subjects depicted

Bell flower; Paterae (motifs); Festooned valances; Acanthus; Scroll-work; Leaf




South & South East Asia Collection

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