H: 30 in / 75 cm | Dia: 24 in / 61 cmDescription
Constructed in sandalwood, and engraved ivory in the manner of Vizagapatam work; rising from a extensively carved quadripartite incurved claw footed base, dressed with a running lobed band, which supports the shaped square section foliate carved centre column; the ivory veneered hinged circular drum top has a removable chess board, with a tortoiseshell and ivory inlaid backgammon board inside the well.
Vizagapatam, a port city situated on the northern stretches of the Coromandel Coast, was visited regularly by Europeans, and the native Kamsali caste allied their ivory cutting and working skills to Occidental furniture forms to provide articles for sale as ‘tourist souvenirs’.
James Grant’s ‘Political Survey of the Northern Circars’ published in 1786, discuss the ‘high quality’ of the local work, of inlaid and engraved ivory. Later, Ackermann’s ‘Repository of the Arts’, 1810 issue, discusses the ‘excellence of the workmanship’