Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A Dutch colonial Java rosewood "Sono Keling" dining-chair
Christie's charges a Buyer's premium calculated at… Read more
A Dutch colonial Java rosewood "Sono Keling" dining-chair


A Dutch colonial Java rosewood "Sono Keling" dining-chair
Batavia, first half 18th Century
The pierced rectangular back with scrolled tablet toprail flanked by turned vase-shaped finials, above a caned scrolling oval flanked by spirally-turned supports, a caned drop-in seat, above a waved seatrail and on spirally-turned legs joined by conforming stretchers, later blocks; And a Dutch colonial teak 'Raffles' armchair, Java, first half 19th Century, the pierced tapering rectangular back with tablet toprail above a double arch and X-shaped horizontal splat centred by a flower-head, the reeded downswept arms on reeded baluster arm supports above a caned seat and on reeded and ring-turned tapering legs, later re-inforcements to the seat-rails (2)
Special notice

Christie's charges a Buyer's premium calculated at 23.205% of the hammer price for each lot with a value up to €110,000. If the hammer price of a lot exceeds €110,000 then the premium for the lot is calculated at 23.205% of the first €110,000 plus 11.9% of any amount in excess of €110,000. Buyer's Premium is calculated on this basis for each lot individually.

Lot Essay

Sono Keling, also known as Java Rosewood or Indian Blackwood, was mainly used in India and Java. The design for this chair is a colonial interpretation of the William and Mary style which was popular in Holland in the early 18th century. A few examples are mentioned in literature on this era, and taking into account the fact that these chairs would originally have been made in sets of 12 or 24, they must be very rare indeed.
A virtually identical chair is illustrated in J. Terwen-de Loos, Het Nederlandse koloniale meubel, Franeker, 1985, pl.27.

Raffles armchairs, were inspired by a design by Sheraton, they became popular during the English interregnum of Java administered by lieutenant-governor Sir Thomas Raffles (1811-1816). They have remained immensly popular and are still made today. These chairs are made almost exclusively with Indonesian teak (djati). Djati differ greatly in quality according to the age of the tree when it is felled. The wood from the younger trees is yellow with a straight grain. This can be seen on most of the garden furniture imported from Indonesia today. In the 19th century the older trees, or trees with abnormal growth were sought out because this wood had a more interesting flamed grain. The early Raffles chairs are made of this darker wood with stronger grain.

A virtually identical chair is illustrated in J. Veenendaal, Furniture from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India, Delft, 1985, pl. 165, pp. 131-132.


View All
View All