The natural abundance of Ceylon, as perceived by Europe, gave rise to the production of many and various pieces of furniture containing specimen woods, such as the above lot. This technique within Ceylon was distinctive to the Colombo and Galle districts, though the designs are parallel to those of other timber-rich colonies such as New Zealand and Jamaica, and of Tunbridge Ware in England (see A. Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, 2001, pp. 368-373).
The cabinet-making firm Don Andris, and other firms such as H. Don Carolis were established during the mid-19th century during a period of rapid change for the indigenous craftsmen of Ceylon. Adapting to the requirements of a mixed British and Ceylonese market, they produced a wide range of furniture types. This included much intended for the office, to fine examples made from the most expensive timbers grown on the island, including ebony and satinwood.