India | c. 1855
A CARVED SANDALWOOD AND SADELI WORK BOX
Height 6” (15cm)
Width 12.5” (32cm)
Depth 9.5” (24cm)
The workbox of sarcophagus form, of carved sandalwood with sadeli work inlays, ivory and ebony, the hinged, canted, stepped lid with a floral carved central panel surrounded by sadeli borders, ebony and ivory, the four sloping side panels all of carved sandalwood, the front panel carved with a tiger and elephant, the side panels with tigers, all amid scrolling branches, framed by sadeli borders, the lid lifting to reveal a fitted mirror to the underside with a carved border, the interior with an arrangement of sixteen compartments, three having lids carved with birds amid foliage, three carved with leaves, all with sadeli borders, four ivory lids inlaid with sadeli, four compartments with turned ivory bobbins, a central purple velvet pin cushion to the top row, the entire level lifting out to reveal a purple velvet lined lower
compartment with divisions, the side panels all similarly carved with tigers amid foliage with sadeli borders and ebony and ivory edge mouldings, brass carrying handles to the sides, the underside covered in purple velvet, raised on later brass paw feet.
There is a comparable carved sandalwood workbox in the Victoria and Albert Museum collections, ( V&A: 02260 (IS) ), discussed in Dr. Amin Jaffer’s book, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, p.318.