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A Large Anglo-Indian Teak Dowry Chest

Late 19th century
Dark wood
153 cm high- 148 cm wide – 70 cm deep
Provenance: from the collection of Mostyn House School, Cheschire

This type of carved dark wooden Indian chest is known as a Damchiyas (hope chest). They were used to store clothing, jewellery and other items for the bride’s dowry. They are typical of North-West India, and this one is probably from Rajasthan.

This imposing chest stands on four legs, with two central doors, and carved on top with what appears to be chess pieces (knights and bishops) . It is decorated with geometric and foliate motifs.
If the shape and function of this piece of furniture is Indian, its decoration is more typical of the British colonial style.

This cabinet has been newly cleaned and waxed.


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