Attributed to Shedashboodoo, Vizagapatam, India
circa 1850 - 1860
The sarcophagus-shaped work box, with a small rectangular 'sunburst' plaque to the top, is inlaid with buffalo horn and ivory veneers and is fitted with a square ivory knob above a sandalwood carcass overlaid with porcupine quill within borders of ivory, engraved and highlighted with lac. The top opens to reveal a fully fitted interior that includes three lidded compartments, two pin cushions, a thimble tray, and a spool. The interior tray is detachable. The silvered brass lock, hinges and handles are original. The ebony moulding to the interior frames a silk woven peacock in bloom on the inside of the lid and the tray conceals a storage area below. The body of the workbox is finely decorated with ivory borders and porcupine quill and it stands on turned buffalo horn bun feet.
The workbox provides an insight into the skills thought necessary for a young woman until quite recent times. The daughters of prosperous families were raised to be wives and mothers with their education focusing on artistic accomplishments such as needlework, painting, drying and pressing flowers, keeping a journal, music and poetry. Skill in embroidery was considered to be an important attribute which in turn became a popular pastime.
In excellent condition
For similar example see No. 55 Amin Jaffer’s ‘Furniture from British India and Ceylon’.
Height 15.00cm (5.91 inches)
Width 21.50cm (8.46 inches)
Depth 15.30cm (6.02 inches)
Stock No: 10660