Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Table

  • Place of origin:

    Hoshiarpur (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1880 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Shisham wood is from the deciduous tree of the the sub-Himalayan tract. It is a durable wood, which does not warp or split and is one of the most esteemed woods used for furniture making in the north of India along with deodar (Himalayan cedar). While Rosewood and sal are more commonly found furniture and wares of the south, inlaid and wood carving from Saharanpur, Farakhabad, Lucknow, Chiniot, Hoshiapur and Jallandar would be based on shisham wood.

  • Museum number:

    IS.2376-1883

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery, case 1

Object Type
Although Turkish in inspiration, octagonal tables of this form were made in several parts of late 19th-century British India. They were produced principally in response to the growing fashion in Europe for Middle Eastern and Islamic furnishings and decorative accessories. This table is of a standard type made in large numbers in Hoshiarpur, a town in the Punjab known for its workmanship in ivory and ebony inlay.

Trading
Although this table was purchased in the Punjab by Caspar Purdon Clarke (1846-1911), others like it were available at retail outlets throughout India and in Europe and America. They were exported in vast quantities by Hoshiarpur furniture dealers. In London they were advertised by Liberty & Co., which features identical examples in a catalogue of 1896.

Ownership & Use
Tables of this form were used a central decorative feature for interiors conceived in an Islamic style. These were much in vogue in the 1880s and 1890s, particularly for men's smoking rooms. Typical features of these rooms included tented ceilings, tiles and turned lattice panels (mashrabiyya) mounted on the walls, richly cushioned banquettes, huqqas, low square or octagonal tables, Qu'ran stands and hanging lanterns.

Physical description

Octagonal eight legged small table made of shisham wood and inlaid with ivory and ebony

Place of Origin

Hoshiarpur (made)

Date

ca. 1880 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Shisham wood is from the deciduous tree of the the sub-Himalayan tract. It is a durable wood, which does not warp or split and is one of the most esteemed woods used for furniture making in the north of India along with deodar (Himalayan cedar). While Rosewood and sal are more commonly found furniture and wares of the south, inlaid and wood carving from Saharanpur, Farakhabad, Lucknow, Chiniot, Hoshiapur and Jallandar would be based on shisham wood.

Dimensions

Height: 62.2 cm, Diameter: 52.7 cm

Object history note

Made in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India

Descriptive line

Octagonal shisham table inlaid with ivory, Punjab, 1881.

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, p2.88, pl.109.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
India became Britain's most important colony and an active trading partner. Thousands of people in Britain had contact with India through travel, family connections and publications. Liberty & Co. supplied large numbers of Indian-style furnishings. The designs were usually adapted for European markets rather than following Indian designs exactly. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Shisham; Ivory

Techniques

Carving; Inlay (process)

Categories

Furniture; British Galleries

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.