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    Sale 7560

    Furniture and Carpets Including Two Private Collections

    24 January 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 223

    A PAIR OF SINGHALESE EBONY CANED ARMCHAIRS

    SRI LANKA, FIRST HALF 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF SINGHALESE EBONY CANED ARMCHAIRS
    SRI LANKA, FIRST HALF 19TH CENTURY
    Each with a scrolled and reeded toprail, above a curved caned back and seat, the downswept reeded arms on gadrooned baluster supports, on ring-turned tapering reeded legs, with beige suede squab cushion and brown material scatter cushion
    40¼ in. (102 cm.) high; 23¼ in. (59 cm.) wide; 32 in. (81 cm.) deep (2)


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    This form of armchair, designed with shorter back legs and inclined seat, was first made on the island of Ceylon. Possible inspiration for this armchairs's design were chairs with these characteristics featuring in Thomas King's 'Modern Style of Cabinet Work Exemplified', a pattern book published in 1829 that provided designs for stock products from Galle furniture workshops. This form of ebony armchair was widely produced, and a great variety existed - from the current restrained version, to more exuberant types with elaborate carving, usually incorporating foliate and shell motifs. H. C. Sirr in his account of Ceylon published in 1850, noted how in Colombo there was available 'the most exquisitely carved ebony furniture conceivable' (A. Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, London, 2001, p. 378).

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