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An Anglo-Ceylonese ebony, specimen wood and ivory inlaid centre table, Galle District, second quarter 19th century
with a circular tilt-top
77cm. high, 116cm. diam.; 2ft. 6¼in., 3ft. 9¾in.
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Catalogue Note

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
Amin Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, V&A publications, 2001, p. 373, fig. 142

The Galle District of Ceylon was famous in the 19th Century for its specimen-wood furniture, remarked upon by a traveller in 1848 who described a tea table as a `fine specimen of the Point-de-Galle inlaid work, on which we are expended the varied beauties of Ceylon`s ninety-nine species of costly wood. The skilful artificers of Galle tempt the traveller with exquisite productions of their art'.

The dating of the present table is based on two documented examples with closely related specimen tops. The first was presented to a Mrs R. B Tytler on New Year's Day in 1936 and bears a conforming inscription (Jaffer, op. cit., p. 373, fig. 142 and sold Sotheby's, 9 July 1993, lot 287). The second table was acquired in Ceylon in 1852 by Lady Dalhousie, wife of the Governor-General of India between 1847-1856, and is distinguished in its employment of the Sinhalese vakadeka motif (sold Sotheby's, Colstoun, 21 and 22 May, 1990, lot 92).

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