Auction 104 Antiques & Works of Art, Silver & Jewellery


Two Indo-Afro-Portuguese Chairs


5.000 - 8.000

Session 2

15 April 2021


Ebony structure
Disassembling sides, arms and feet rest
Triangular pediment crest of ivory and bone inlay with geometric, floral and abstract elements
Rectangular caned and cotton thread woven seat and feet resting surface
Wooden and caned panels to arms
Wooden and cotton thread woven front panels
Africa, Mombasa region
17th century
(losses and faults)

125x72x49 cm



Additional Information

Known as Mombasa chairs, these objects are to be found in areas of Portuguese presence along the Eastern Coast of Africa, often the trading ports in the Goa to Lisbon sea route.
Their straight lines draw inspiration from 16th century Spanish and Indo-Portuguese prototypes, while their exotic decoration mirrors a fusion of Indo-European and African styles.
Related to court ceremonial, this particular chair typology was associated to representations of power, both in the kingdom mainland and in its overseas territories, becoming favoured diplomatic gifts from the earliest days of Portuguese expansion.
Often referred as Indo-Afro-Portuguese, they were exclusively produced in Northern India, as it is suggested by comparative studies with other contemporary furniture typologies that adopt identical raw materials and decoration. The evidenced foot rest reveals their importance as symbolic of royal status.

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