Decorative Anglo-Indian Mughal Style Overlay Footed Box
Fine Mughal Style Jewelry decorative box with filigree carving.
Anglo-Indian footed box with exceptional engraved details throughout with filigree and carved veneered and engraved plaques with arabesque carving.
Handmade in India.
History of the Anglo-Indian Boxes
Beginning in the early part of the 18th century, Indian artisans made what came to be known as Anglo-Indian boxes for the English residents living in India, who eventually brought or sent them back to England. At the beginning of the 19th century, India began exporting these boxes commercially, although not in any significant numbers until the 1850s. People valued them so highly that manufacturers of tins copied the designs on them in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Anglo-Indian boxes fall into four groups: Rosewood or ebony boxes inlaid; sandalwood boxes covered with Sadeli mosaic; and carved boxes often combined with Sadeli mosaic/
The first two categories came from Vizagapatam in East India while the last two came from Bombay in West India.
English traders discovered the rich woods and intricate workmanship of Indian artisans, so colonial government officials began to recognize the work of the Indian artists and craftsmen as a source for satisfying the need for furniture and boxes, which would both serve to enhance English households in India. This gave rise to the cabinetmaking workshops in Vizagapatam between Calcutta and Madras.
In the 19th century craftsmen made the first boxes to be decorated with Sadeli mosaic of rosewood or ebony, incised to give further definition to the decoration, directly inlaid into the wood. The shape of the early boxes was either sloping at the front with a flatter section at the back, reminiscent of English writing slopes, or rectangular. Artisans inlaid the borders with stylized floral scrolls and the centers with a single floral motif following a circular or oval symmetrical or asymmetrical pattern.
Made in Vizagapatam, situated on the south east coast of India, near Madras
These exotic Bombay work pieces were crafted with veneer, retailed in Madras and Calcutta by the English and Dutch East India Companies.