This table is typical of the carved ebony furniture manufactured on the island of Ceylon/Sri Lanka, throughout the nineteenth century. While the form of these tables is based on English designs dating to the second quarter of the nineteenth century (such as Thomas King's The Modern Style of Cabinet Work Exemplified of 1829), the arved ornament, including the pala-peti or lotus motif are derived from local traditions. These tables were made for the British colonists in Ceylon and India as well as for export to England. A number of tables similarly inlaid with exotic woods are known including one formerly at the Royal Commonwealth Society with a presentation plaque dated 1836, and another which was on view at the Ceylon Court of the Paris Exhibition of 1855. An identical table to this example is illustrated in R.Jones, 'Nineteenth Century Carved Ebony Furniture', Regional Furniture, 1996, p.32, figs. 3 and 4).
The arms are those of Cooper quartering Synge, as borne by the Coopers of Markree Castle, co. Sligo, Ireland. The table was almost certainly made for Edward Synge Cooper (d.1830) who married Anne, daughter of Harry Verelst (d.1785) who served as Governor of Bengal from 1767-1769. Cooper's eldest son was Edward Joshua Cooper (d.1863), the noted astronomer.