Indian Ivory-Inlaid Bureau from the Bernal Collection
- This item was purchased by Peabody Essex Museum, Salem.
Indian hardwood bureau from the Bernal Collection, inlaid with ebony and engraved ivory. First half of the 18th Century, with English 18th Century locks.
Height 36½" (92.5cm).
Max. width 31¾" (80.5cm).
Max. depth 17¼" (44cm).
Provenance :- Ralph Bernal (d. 1854), 93, Eaton Square, London. This bureau was in the celebrated sale of the Bernal Collection in 1855, described as follows :-
'A BEAUTIFUL SMALL SECRETAIRE, of sandalwood, with fall-down front, enclosing drawers and four drawers under, elaborately inlaid all over with birds and flowers in engraved ivory, the foliage of ebony– 35 in. high, and 30 in. wide'.(1) This description has been inscribed in pen on the underside of the top central interior drawer, presumably by its buyer at the sale.
A Bordeaux-inspired Indian commode with brass lock-plates of the form of the escutcheons on this bureau, is in the collection of the Musée de la Compagnie des Indes, Port Louis, Mauritius.(2)
1. Christie & Manson, sale 'At The Mansion, 93 Eaton Square', commencing March 5th, 1855, lot 4255 (£40.5s.). The sale was held over 32 days, the furniture being sold on the final two days. This bureau was in the 'Glass Room', and was sold on April 30th, the final day of the sale.
2. See La Route des Indes, catalogue of an exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Bordeaux, 1998, no. 97, p. 129.