Murshidabad, situated in the northeastern corner of India, along the Ganges River, became the Mughal capital of the country in the early 18th Century. The city was well positioned between European trading posts and settlements.
The tradition of intricate ivory carving in Murshidabad is thought to have originated in the early 18th Century when highly skilled carvers migrated to Murshidabad from Sylhet after the capital was relocated there. The works from this area were, for the most part, small scale highly detailed objects such as bangles, caskets, handles and boxes. These expert carvers were greatly influenced by the European styles and tastes to which they were exposed. It is known that many European design sources such as Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director were available in Murshidabad and nearby Calcutta, the British capital of Bengal.
Related candlesticks from Murshidabad, with similar delicately rendered Neoclassic decoration are in the Gerstenfeld Collection (see E. Lennox-Boyd ed., Masterpieces of English Furniture, London, 1998, p. 145, pl. 109). A pair of ivory candelabra from Murshidabad is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, illustrated A. Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, London, 2001, p 238, fig. 102.