An impressive North Indian 19th century silver sheet-covered wood tester bed
Lot 73*
An impressive North Indian 19th century silver sheet-covered wood tester bed
Sold for £51,650 (US$ 80,930) inc. premium

Lot Details
An impressive North Indian 19th century silver sheet-covered wood tester bed An impressive North Indian 19th century silver sheet-covered wood tester bed An impressive North Indian 19th century silver sheet-covered wood tester bed
An impressive North Indian 19th century silver sheet-covered wood tester bed
the pierced trellis and flowerhead headboards surmounted by affronted peacocks flanking a bud and berried finials, with spiral reeded bedposts, on four baluster reeded legs, sold together with a photograph of Lady Glenconner reclining on the bed, £15,000-20,000


143cm wide x 240cm deep x 201cm high, (56" wide x 94" deep x 79" high)

Footnotes

  • Beds in the Western sense did not exist in India before the arrival of the Europeans. The majority of people used little more than a cotton mat or carpet, or four-legged structure known as a charpoy, which was widely used across the social classes of Indian society.

    The tradition of silver-sheet covered wood furniture was known throughout India for at least five hundred years, as attested by contemporary accounts by European visitors to Indian palaces in that period (Amin Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, London, 2001, pp. 224-26), appearing initially on throne chairs, or musnud. It appears, however, as far as one can judge from surviving examples, that the art became particularly popular in the Rajput courts under the East India Company and then British influence, often copying Western forms with various degrees of accuracy, and by the mid to late 19th Century had become standard issue in the royal courts of Rajasthan.

    The form of the present lot, a four-poster bed, is based on the late Regency style, although the decoration is purely Indian, with its repeat design of rosettes within a trellis, a decorative scheme frequently found on Mughal architectural panels and peacocks. Throughout India, peacocks were used as a symbol of royalty, although the depiction of paired birds flanking a bud was probably inspired by European heraldry, thus emphasising the authority of the owner.

    In some courts, silver and gold were used only for the seat of the ruler, but in others they were used on a variety of furnishings and objects for the royal family and high-ranking guests. As a guest of the Maharajah of Patiala in the 1930s, Rosita Forbes marvelled at being given a room with 'a bed plated with gold' (quoted in Jaffer, op. cit. 2001, p. 226). This style was extended to include other elaborate objects, such as the parcel-gilt silver chariot and horses made for the Maharajah of Bikaner, and sold at Christie's (Arts of India, London, 27th September 2001, lot 73); and a howdah made for the Maharajah of Jodpur (Anna Jackson and Amin Jaffer, eds., Maharajah. The Splendour of India's Royal Courts, London, 2009, pp. 60-1, no. 44).
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
* Import low rate

VAT on imported items at a preferential rate of 5% on Hammer Price and the prevailing rate on Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. Kate Eskdale
    Auction Administration - Miscellaneous
    Bonhams
    Work
    Montpelier Street
    London, United Kingdom SW7 1HH
    Work +44 208 963 2814
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2803
  2. Charlie Thomas
    Specialist - Miscellaneous
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 207 468 8358
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2803
Similar Items