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    Sale 7439

    Important English Furniture

    22 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 722

    AN INDIAN BRASS-INLAID PADOUK PEDESTAL DESK

    LATE 19TH CENTURY, MAINPURI

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN INDIAN BRASS-INLAID PADOUK PEDESTAL DESK
    LATE 19TH CENTURY, MAINPURI
    The rectangular top with rope-twist edge above three frieze drawers, the left pedestal with four panelled drawers, right pedestal with two drawers and one deep drawer simulated as two and with two later divisions, between rope-twist angles, the reverse plain-panelled, on short turned feet, the drawers hardwood-lined and six drawers with cuts for divisions and with ten later removable divisions
    32 in. (81.5 cm.) high; 61¾ in. (157 cm.) wide; 31¼ in. (79.5 cm.) deep


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    The desk is an exceptional example of tarkashi (wire drawing) work, a technique of inlaying wire into wood practiced by members of the Ojha caste in Mainpuri, a town near Agra, Northern India. At the hands of F.S. Growse, Assistant Magistrate in the region from 1864-7, local artisans were encouraged to apply their traditional skills to western furniture forms, supervised by Growse. Among the pieces he commissioned in 1867 was a writing-table intended for the Agra Exhibition of 1867. The application of a variety of virtuoso designs onto the surface of this desk suggests that this piece was itself intended as a showpiece at exhibition (A. Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, London, 2001, pp. 305-6).

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