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.