A coromandel, Indian rosewood and palmwood miniature chest of drawers with silver mounts


Sri Lanka, late 18th century

H. 23.3 x W. 36.4 x D. 23.5 cm

This chest-of-drawers has three drawers, the top one with partitions for writing materials, such as pens, inkpots, paper, etc. Document boxes, miniature table cabinets, chests and chests-of-drawers are often mentioned in eighteenth-century household and office inventories. For employees of the Dutch East India Company, who were regularly moved from one outpost to another, document boxes and also apparently miniature furniture was not only very useful for storage of writing materials or small valuable items but also as possibly status symbols. For a similar chest of drawers with a writing slope on top, see Uit Verre Streken, June 2012, no. 7.

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