This richly carved ebony table is likely to have been made in Madras, southern India, circa 1850-60. It relates to one now in the Victoria & Albert Museum with legs composed of lion monopodia, each corner of the plinth resting on a lion couchant and a deep florally-carved frieze. Its design may be derived from W. Blackie's Cabinet-Maker's Assistant, 1853 or William Smee & Sons, Designs for Furniture, 1850-55 (see E. T. Joy, Pictorial Dictionary of British 19th Century Furniture Design, 1977, p. 485). The thistle carved frieze may be associated with a number of Scottish cabinet-makers resident in Calcutta from the second half of the 19th Century, such as Steuart & Co. and Hamilton & Co. (A. Jaffer, Furniture from British India & Ceylon, London, 2001, pp. 145 & 282).
The inclusion of the carved thistles and Canova lions to this table is also indicative of the presence of European and even Scottish patrons in Madras from the mid-19th Century onwards. Architectural motifs on Indian furniture from this period became more common as a result of ex-patriot commissions.