Coromandel Antique Restoration
|Anglo Indian||19th March 2018|
A range of ivory veneered boxes shown to illustrate the extensive range of shapes and styles of engraving to be found on boxes from Vizagapatam. We restored all these boxes.
A lovely ivory veneered tea caddy, relying on reeded ivory and fan decoration for its appeal. A wonderfully simple and very modern look. But as with so much of ivory veneered work, in need of a great deal of tlc to bring it back to its earlier glory.
A heavily engraved work box with topographical 'whimsey' views. These photographs show a common problem; curling and cracking of the ivory, particularly of the side lid panels where the grain of the ivory and that of the underlying wooden carcass run in different directions.
Another common fault with Anglo Indian boxes; the wooden carcass moves and pulls apart beneath the ivory, causing lifting/breakage to the ivory and general warpage of the box, particularly the lid.
The mid 19th century saw a wonderful inventiveness in the combination of porcupine quill and ivory decoration. Here are just four examples of the the lids of boxes restored over the years.
An unusual porcupine quill decorated tea caddy. Porcupine quill items always arrive with several pieces missing - and are always very dirty as can be seen.
A wonderfully decorative quill and ivory workbox with radiating horn and ivory fan. It had had rather a hard life!
The quills were dirty but otherwise in good condition on this box, but the engraved ivory lines needed attention.
Buffalo horn: rather sombre but very attractive and imposing we think. The almost black horn fading to shades of brown and green over time.
The trays from Anglo Indian boxes are often in a state of collapse, with compartment dividers missing.
Highly aromatic sandalwood was ususally, but not always, used as the wood from which the carcass of Anglo Indian objects were made. It is however, a very attractive wood in its own right, particularly when set against engraved ivory decoration. We restored all the items in this section.
A lovely 18th century gentleman's document box with extravagant silver mounts and carrying handles.
Intricate patterns of fretted ivory secured by ivory or metal pins to horn or tortoiseshell veneered objects, were popular export items towards the end of the 19th century. Ranging from very fine to rather thick, fretwork is very fragile and parts are usually lost. Whilst we cannot guarantee to match missing areas, we can certainly improve upon the 'look'. But it is rather time consuming!
Much of the work from 19th century Ceylon is highly decorative, characterised by the extensive use of ebony, quills, bone/ivory dot decoration, decorative inlay and the use of specimen woods as decoration. This image gives an illustration. All items were restored in our workshop.
Ebony is an extremely dense, hard wood, and yet was carved into wonderful intricate designs shown here. Restored, cleaned and waxed the high points of the carving shine.
Examples of the ebony, bone/ivory dot and quill decoration instantly recognisable as work from Ceylon.
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