An Anglo-Indian octagonal travel table/end table/taboret with intricate bone and ebony inlay. The octagonal top is decorated with a central medallion of a lotus flower1 encircled by undulating vines, leaves, and flowers. The inlay is edged with a double border design with winding vines and arcaded design panels at the base. The table is made of teak wood with a folding base which is now fixed for greater stability.2 India, circa 1880. 3
height: 21 inches (53 cm.), diameter: 22 inches (56 cm.)
Further readings and sources:
- In Hinduism, the lotus flower is a sacred symbol of purity, enlightenment, and spiritual awakening. It is often associated with the Hindu god Vishnu, who is said to have been born from a lotus flower. In Buddhism, the lotus flower is also a sacred symbol of purity and enlightenment. It is said that the Buddha achieved enlightenment while sitting on a lotus flower. The lotus flower is also a popular symbol in Chinese culture. It is often associated with beauty, purity, and longevity. In British Colonial India of Victorian times, the lotus flower was often used as a decorative motif in furniture, textiles, and other objects. It was seen as a symbol of the beauty and exoticism of India. The lotus flower meaning varies from culture to culture.
In general, however, the lotus commonly serves as a sacred symbol for purity, rebirth, and strength. Because lotuses rise from the mud without stains, they are often viewed as a symbol of purity. Lotus Flower: Its Meaning, Symbolism, & Influence, Saffron Marigold, July 11, 2022. ↩
- Small blocks are attached to each flat edge that can be removed to return the table to its original condition. ↩
- Anglo-Indian furniture exhibits influences from both British and Indian styles. Traveling tables such as these were portable, versatile surfaces for tea and other functions. They were designed to collapse for easy transportation. These would have been used in Victorian times by European travelers and officials who often moved throughout British Colonial India. ↩