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Before the arrival of Europeans, furniture in India was largely unknown, except for thrones used by the rulers. But from the end of the 16th century, with the founding of the East India Companies, the Europeans, initially the Portuguese, followed by the English and Dutch began to establish trading settlements along the east and west coasts which soon grew into prosperous towns. These settlers were unable to bring much furniture with them, but soon discovered that Indian craftsmen had the extraordinary skill of being able to copy a pattern meticulously. Over time, several schools of furniture makers developed largely determined by the materials available in their region. By the end of the 18th century Indian-made European-style furniture was both aesthetically and technically accomplished.
In ancient India, the thrones were known as "Simhasana", which means "Lion's seat", and were supported by such lions or tigers. "The throne" says A.M. Hocart, "expresses by physical means the King's moral superiority and it symbolises a womb of sovereignty". In later 18th the design of European-style chairs. In circa 1876, Queen Victoria presented Western coats-of -arms to the leading Indian Princes. The other prominent families which hadn't been allocated a specific crest invented their own. From then on, heraldic motifs, ranging from family crests to kingship symbols, such as lions and tigers, were added to being "Pure" materials following the Hindu religion.
In the second half of the 19th century, India was represented at the great international exhibitions. The effect of this was two-fold: not only was there an increased fashion for Indian goods in Europe, but the new European styles were quickly adapted to Indian taste. The manufacture of Anglo-Indian furniture by Indian craftsmen has never ceased. (Literature: Amin Jaffer, Furniture in British India, 1750-1830).
This collection of Indian silver mounted furniture has been made to the highest standards of Indian craftmanship with fire resistant upholstery and have been copied from silver furniture now exhibited in museums originally made for the maharajahs and rulers of India.