A VIZAGAPATAM PEN-ENGRAVED IVORY-INLAID ROSEWOOD WRITING BOX
India, Coromandel coast, Coromandel Coast, Vizagapatnam, mid 18th century
The oblong box elaborately inlaid with pen-engraved ivory flowers and foliate motif with geometric borders, on four bun feet, with key.
H. 13.5 x W. 30 x. D. 21.3 cm
Writing boxes for storage of pens and paper were, of course, a basic requirement for the English and Dutch East India company officials and merchants. Vizagapatnam was an important place of manufacture of writing boxes and other ivory inlaid furniture in the 18th century for the English. The earliest known examples of boxes from Vizagapatnam are inlaid all over with flowers encumbered in scrolling vines. In later variations, from the middle of the 18th century, the inlay with broad floral design is confined to the corners, around the edges of the lid and at the centre of the lid in the form of a circular or rectangular floral design, a flowering tree or a floral spray as in the present box.