Carved Chinar Leaf Chair
late 19th century
overall height: 96cm, width of seat: 52.5cm, height of seat: 47cm
This splendid, sculptural chair with a superb, rich patina is unusual for its form and conception. We know of no other similar example that has been published. However, the pierced, carved back in the form of chinar or plane tree leaves and nuts suggest that it is the work of Kashmiri woodcarvers. Chinar or plane trees were planted liberally around Kashmir during the Mughal era and became a common motif employed in Kashmiri silverwork and textiles. The chair itself is carved from walnut wood, a local wood typically used by Kashmiri woodcarvers.
Each of the four legs is similarly carved with the chinar leaf motif.
The seat is particularly wonderful and is in the form of a single, large, crenulated, lotus leaf not unlike the large lotus leaves that grow around the famous Dal Lake of Srinagar, Kashmir.
The overall style is reminiscent of, or perhaps anticipates, the art nouveau style: the art nouveau movement drew upon eastern designs from Japan and India in its development.
The chair is in an excellent, stable and usable condition.
Jaffer, A., Furniture from British India and Ceylon: A Catalogue of the Collections in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum, Timeless
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1945