The rectangular teak top inlaid profusely with panels and borders of superbly engraved ivory with a central lozenge shaped medallion, the front with one long drawer, flanked by nests of four drawers retaining their original Paktong handles, all similarly inlaid, having a central recessed bank of four drawers that slides forward fitted with shaped ivory key escutcheons; the sides similarly decorated as the top, all raised on ivory veneered bracket feet.




“Furniture from British India and Ceylon” ∫by Amin Jaffer, fig.85 Englefield House, Berkshire: an almost identical kneehole writing/dressing table brought to England by Richard Benyon, Governor of Fort St. George, 1734 to 1744.




Situated on the south-east coast of India, close to Madras, it was a major port from the 17th century being part of the main trading route between Europe and the far East.  With access to the ingredients for furniture making – hardwoods of every kind and ivory – it became the centre for Indian craftsmen who skilfully decorated European forms of furniture with superbly engraved ivory veneers, which contrasted so beautifully with the hardwood ground and found favour in the West.



Dimensions CM Inches
Width: 99.5 39
Depth: 61 24
Height: 77 30