A mid 19th century Anglo Indian (Bombay) sandalwood writing box of outstanding quality,
the exterior carved profusely with animals and birds amongst scrolling foliage, the upper section hinged and opening to reveal numerous lidded compartments, the lower hinged fall front opening to reveal a purple velvet lined writing slope, 41cm wide, 29cm deep, 18cm high (16in wide, 11in deep, 7in high)
During the early 19th century and later numerous workshops in Bombay were producing boxes and other wares with this type of decoration for export to Europe. By the mid 19th century a Persian craftsman introduced the technique to the workshops of Calcutta and sent numerous examples to the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Similar work boxes are illustrated in A. Clarke & J. O'Kelly, Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies & Society, Schiffer, PA, USA, pages 155-159.