Indians traditionally sat cross-legged on the floor or on Chowkis (platforms), however with the increasing arrival of Europeans, western furniture became a common feature in many Indian households. Objects such as chairs and sofas were regarded as uncomfortable, however they became necessary to receive European guests. Such furniture was usually confined to rooms only used by foreign visitors
Initially, Calcutta and Bombay merchants thrived by importing these luxuries. However, soon Indian craftsmen began to duplicate them and even impose their own designs. Native designers and craftsmen learned to develop the Victorian aesthetics further, into outrageous complex shapes, ideal for the drawing rooms of Maharajas, Nawabs, and rich merchants. These drawings show the great imagination and inventiveness, which effectively enticed prospective buyers.
For a comparable design for an Indo-Victorian chair see S. C. Welch, Room for Wonder: Indian Painting during the British Period 1760-1880, New York, 1978, p. 150, no. 67, illustrated.