This table, with its carved ebony and exotic native timbers, is typical of furniture manufactured in Sri Lanka in the Galle district throught the 19th century. Tables of this type were supplied to British colonists for export to England. Their popularity was noted by the traveller H.C. Sirr in 1850, who wrote that in Galle one could find 'those exquisite inlaid articles, which far surpass any specimen of Tunbridge ware that has yet been produced - ivory and various coloured native woods are inlaid upon the ebony and as the designs are well defined, the effect produced is magnificent' (A. Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, 2001, p. 373)
A number of tables similarly inlaid with exotic woods are known, including the earliest dated example, formerly at the Royal Commonwealth Society with a presentation plaque dated 1836. Others were sold, Christie's London, 2 May 2002, lot 125 (52,580); Christie's London, 27 November 2003, lot 78 (35,850); Christie's South Kensington, 13 May 2008, lot 231 (38,900), Christie's London, 11 September 2008, lot 222.