• The Ismail Merchant Collection auction at Christies

    Sale 5980

    The Ismail Merchant Collection

    7 October 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 29

    A CEYLONESE SOLID EBONY EASY ARMCHAIR

    PROBABLY GALLE DISTRICT, CIRCA 1850

    Price Realised  

    A CEYLONESE SOLID EBONY EASY ARMCHAIR
    PROBABLY GALLE DISTRICT, CIRCA 1850
    The foliate carved toprail above a caned back and seat, with reeded scrolled arm supports and foliate carved seat rail, on conforming sabre legs with braceleted ball-and-claw feet, formerly with castors, the underside with a paper label inscribed 'Nina Hirji, Portman Sq.'


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    In his account of Ceylon of 1850, H. C. Sirr noted 'the most exquisitely carved ebony furniture conceivable'. This form of deep caned armchair was possibly inspired by the designs of Thomas King's Modern Style of Cabinet Work Exemplified, 1829. The earliest recorded chair of this type may be that referred to as '1 Ebony Easy Chair' in a document of 1833 relating to the Governor of Ceylon (National Archives 54/17, ff. 114-117). A similar chair is illustrated in A. Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, London, 2001, p. 378, no. 186.
    Nina Hirji Kheraj is a former producer of commercials for Merchant Ivory Films.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Nina Hirji, Portman Square, London.