AN INDIAN IVORY AND EBONY-INLAID TEAK VIZAGAPATAM DOCUMENT CHEST
Vizagapatam, early 18th century
Ebonhy plinths, with brass mounts, overall floral motif inlaid with ebony branches and ivory flowers.
H. 11.6 x W. 48.1 x D. 32.6 cm
Many of these document boxes were made for VOC officials based in the many faraway trading posts of the Company. They were obliged to regularly write communications about trade and local political developments and send these to the High Government in Batavia. The design of inlaid scrolling vines and flowers is found in the boxes made in the earlier 18th century, mainly for the Dutch. Boxes commissioned by the English, later in the 18th century, came increasingly to be veneered by sheets of engraved ivory covering the entire surface of the box.