Furniture from British India and Ceylon. A catalogue of the collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum

Furniture from British India and Ceylon. A catalogue of the collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum
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Amin Jaffer.

London. V&A Publications. 2001. First edition. UK edition. Cloth-bound hardback, dust jacket. 416 pages. Approx. 350 illustrations in colour and b&w. 285 x 250mm (11 x 9"). 2.45kg. 1851773185. English. Very good; slight shelf wear to dust jacket, light bump to lower forecorner of front board, no tears or inscriptions.

'Prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the Indian subcontinent, people traditionally sat, ate and socialised at ground level on portable textiles. However, the presence of Europeans from the sixteenth century onwards introduced a demand in the domestic market for the elevated type of furniture of the West. In British India, this was satisfied in different ways but chiefly by local craftsmen applying their hereditary skills at working materials to Western furniture forms. This hybrid furniture, which is often typically English in form, but unmistakably Indian in its execution, has traditionally been admired for its rarity, prized materials and exotic decoration... Furniture from British India and Ceylon is divided into two sections. The introductory chapters provide contextual background and discuss subjects such as the British response to things Indian, the domestic interior and factors which shaped its appearance, and the sources of furniture. Amin Jaffer provides a reconstruction of the complex furniture trade between East and West, offering new insights into the relationship between European, Chinese and Indian craftsmen which shed light on the difficulty of correctly attributing colonial furniture. The second section is an extensive catalogue of two hundred pieces from the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum. Each piece of furniture is illustrated, often with more than one view, and contextual illustrations, including many unusual and evocative images of domestic interiors and craftsmen at work, are provided throughout the book. The scope of the material covered and the accompanying illustrations, many of which are published for the first time, make this volume a definitive reference work for collectors, dealers and scholars interested in furniture and the material culture of British India.' (from the blurb).