This cabinet belongs to a group of exotic ivory-veneered furniture that was executed under the direction of the Dutch and English East India Companies at Vizagapatam, on the Coromandel coast, during the second half of the 18th Century (A.K.H. Jaffer, 'The Furniture Trade in Early Colonial India', Oriental Art, vol. XLI, no.1, Spring 1995, pp. 12-13).
The cabinet is typical of Anglo-Indian art of the period, with English forms being executed by local skilled craftsmen. Exotic materials such as padouk, ebony and ivory were used on a wide range of finely crafted items such as cabinets and boxes, the majority of which were created for the European market and often commissioned by the East India Company. In 1686, such was the demand from the west for the exotic products of the East, that the Dutch East India Company set up its own factory in Vizagapatam and trained Indian carpenters there to cope with the increasing demand.
This cabinet can be compared to an Anglo-Indian padouk and engraved ivory clothes-press, also produced in the Vizagapatam workshop and sold by Sir John Smith, C.B.E, Shottesbrooke Park, White Waltham, Berkshire, in these Rooms, 15 November 1990, lot 3. The bamboo shoots on the front panel on both are very similer.