A group of six Coromandel coast ebony side chairs four 17th century and a pair 19th century Southern India
Lot 16
A group of six Coromandel coast ebony side chairs four 17th century and a pair 19th century Southern India
Sold for £4,750 (US$ 7,874) inc. premium
Lot Details
A group of six Coromandel coast ebony side chairs four 17th century and a pair 19th century
Southern India
comprising one chair with a winged female head flanked on either side by a nude female figure and a makara, the upright support finials in the form of birds, the seat rail carved and pierced, with twist-turned balusters, below a further female head flanked by makara, with twist-turned legs, circa 1660-80; another of similar form, the back carved in relief with monkeys in a scrolling floral landscape with pinecone finials to either side, with twist-turned balusters below, the seat rail carved and piecered with scrolling floral vine, with twist-turned legs, circa 1680; two further chairs of similar form, the backs carved in relief with dense scrolling floral vines, circa 1680; and a pair of chairs with a basket of fruit flanked by a leafy flourish, the upright support finials in the form of a lion holding a shield, below two registers of twist-turned balusters supporting niches, with twist-turned legs, 19th century, the largest: 55cm wide, 48cm deep, 98cm high (21.5" wide, 18.5" deep, 38.5" high). (6)

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Private UK collection; acquired in the 1940s.

    These chairs are from a group which were long thought to have been survivors of early English furniture, a misconception which seems to have been started by Horace Walpole (1717-97). The square form and intricate carving, as well as the dark wood, gave an archaic impression, which gained further credence from the fact that many were in houses with early historical links, such as Esher Place, Thomas Wolsey's home. After initially appearing on the Coromandel Coast around 1660, they were later also made in Ceylon and Java. For two related examples in the Victoria and Albert Museum, see Amin Jaffer, Luxury Goods from India, London 2002, no. 16 and by the same author, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, London 2001, p. 142.
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