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British Colonial Ebony Sofa

Mid 19th century

A magnificent British colonial sofa in ebony with an arched serpentine crest rail centered by two small and one larger shell carving. The reeded frame has scrolled arms that also display finely carved shell roundels at the ends. The seat and back have been recently hand re-caned in a pattern typical to the colonial style. The four legs with a reeded inverted cup at the top terminate with discs ending in a bun foot. The seat height is 38 cm or 15”.

Ebony has long been prized for its dense hardness, which lends itself for beautiful carving and a smooth finish after being polished. It is considered the aristocrat of hardwoods and is native to southern India and Sri Lanka. Ebony has always been a luxury wood and was so popular in 17th century France, that “ebenistes” is still the French word for cabinet maker. Furniture pieces of lesser woods were often “ebonized” (painted black) to make them look as if made of ebony.

The sofa is in good condition and has been lovingly restored and finished to its former glory using a traditional form of French polishing and waxing.

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Malabar coast
British colonial India
H: 104 cm W: 232 cm D: 69 cm
H: 41” W: 91½” D: 27”

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