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Vizagapatam Ivory House Sewing Box

£ 12,500

Category
Height
15.5 cm (6")
Width
15.5 cm (6")
Depth
10.5 cm (4 1/4")
Exquisite Vizagapatam ivory and sandalwood work box in the form of a house, the exterior decorated with trees and fortifications. The hinged lid of the Vizagapatam house reveals a divided interior with pin cushions, twin-lidded compartments and other sewing tools. To the side is a drawer which can only be accessed once the Ivory house is in its open position and the silver pin is removed.

These exotic pieces were crafted with ivory veneer, retailed in Madras and Calcutta by the English and Dutch East India Companies, but primarily manufactured in Vizagapatam on the northern Coromandel Coast.

This charming Ivory house sewing box comes with a fully working lock and tasselled key.

Reference:
Furniture from British India and Ceylon by Amin Jaffer.
Victoria & Albert Museum.

When we acquire sewing boxes (also known as work or needlework boxes), it's always a pleasure to see what's inside them, and to imagine and how ladies used each one differently. We often find many sewing tools, pin cushions, sewing patterns etc, as well as mysterious items we have not come across before. We keep boxes' original contents intact as much as possible, as we feel removing them is detrimental to the history and character of the box.

Needlework & embroidery were the main pass-time of Georgian ladies. Their tools & materials were first kept in sewing baskets or pouches, until wooden Sewing Boxes became highly fashionable around the 1770s. They were often decorated according to the lady's own style & personal taste, sometimes by the lady herself. Some were also pre-fitted with tools such as tape measures, thread reels & thimbles.

By the late 1800s, sewing boxes remained popular but styles became more basic & commercially made.
Height
15.5 cm (6")
Width
15.5 cm (6")
Depth
10.5 cm (4 1/4")
Year
c. 1800
Medium
Ivory, Wood
Country
India