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455. An early 18th century Anglo-Indian rosewood writing box, inlaid with ivory flowers and leaves boldly engraved and highlighted with lac, the hinged lid centred with a floral interpretation of the Tree of Life, with leaves and flowers issuing from a nautilus shell, with wide borders of conforming scrolling foliage, revealing a divided interior with secret drawers, with an iron side carrying handle and escutcheon, £3,000-5,000 Vizagapatam, c.1730, 11.8cm high, 53.4cm wide, 39.5cm deep. Provenance: A handwritten note in the box states ‘Mother’s Indian Box from Lady Lyttleton given 1957’ and ‘Apphia, Lady Lyttelton by descent to Mrs G. Woodroffe to her daughter Mrs M. J. Neville (1957) by descent’. Antigone Clarke & Joseph O’Kelly, Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies & Society, 1700-1880, 2nd Edition, p.187, fig. 262. Apphia, Lady Lyttelton, née Witts (1743-1840) was born on the 27th April to a prosperous Oxfordshire family. After the death of her parents she set sail to India arriving in Calcutta in 1769 where she was set to marry her cousin, Richard Witts. However, he had died six months before she left England. More tragedy struck when her first husband, Colonel Joseph Peach of the 1st Bengal Regiment, died within six months of their marriage. In 1773 she married Thomas Lyttelton, 2nd Baron Lyttelton. See ‘Apphia, Lady Lyttelton: From the Cotswolds to Malvern by Way of India 1743-1840’ by Christine Bannister. See ‘Furniture from British India and Ceylon’ by Amin Jaffer, p. 188, no. 39. for a closely related box. Also, Christie’s, Le Gout Steinitz, III, 6th December 2007 for a very similar box, with an identical central panel. Work-boxes such as these were used by the English expatriates in India and were naturally used by the merchants of the East India Company. The densely scrolling foliage borders inlaid in ivory are typical of the manufactures of Vizagapatam, on the eastern Coromandel Coast of India.
456. Duke of Wellington interest. An Anglo-Indian ivory writing slope, lac decorated with scrolling leaves and flowers and with further bands of leaves, the hinged lid with a shield shape escutcheon with initials ‘AW’ possibly for Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (17691852), the sandalwood interior with a gilt tooled blue leather writing surface, fitted with inkwells and a pen compartment, with a base drawer and silver handles with navette shape backplates, Vizagapatam, c.1800-1810, 13cm high, 36cm wide, 26cm deep. £1,000-1,500 Provenance: The vendor of this box is a direct descendant of the Duke of Wellington’s brother, Richard, Marquess Wellesley (1760-1842) and it is thought to have passed down to his illegitimate son, Richard Wellesley (1787-1831), who was an Anglo-Irish Member of Parliament and thence by descent. The Duke of Wellington arrived in Calcutta in 1797 and was involved in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore war. His brother, Richard (Lord Mornington), was Governor-General of India between 1798 and 1805.
Furniture, Works of Art & Clocks | Wednesday 3rd July 2019