I've been going to India for over 40 years and I love the Indian aesthetic. To be more precise, I love some of it. And a particular passion is the combination of vibrant fabrics and carved wooden furniture and decorative features. In this blog we'll look at some beautiful pieces of Indian furniture and elegant interiors.
This beautiful carved double chair was in the old town of Nawalgarh in the Shekawati region of Rajasthan. The seat is strung like a traditional charpoy bed and the back has wonderful detailed carvings of peacocks separated by a circular motif. Peacocks are the emblematic birds of Rajasthan that always surprise you with their large size and harsh cries. The beautiful frescoes in the background are starting to fade with age but are no less beautiful for that.
This beautiful Lion Chair has a double peacock back. Like the chair from Nawalgarh, the two peacocks are separated by a circular motif.
The old district of Ahmedabad is divided into Pols which until recently were closed by huge wooden gates at 11pm each night. The Pols contained distinctive castes and trades and functioned as tight, close knit communities. As the modern age encroaches those traditions are being eroded and the gates no longer get closed at night but the Pols contain some wonderful old houses.
We took the photograph above and the two below when we stayed in the old quarter in January 2019. In addition to the wonderful architecture there is the amazing eating experience of the outdoor food hall at Manek Chowk. By day Manek Chowk is the silver market, at night it transforms into a bustling street food extravangza where you can eat delicious food next to the exuberantly friendly Amdavadis, as the people of Ahmedabad call themselves.
Carving is everywhere, on wood and stone. The marble bowl with rose petals is similar to the ones we sell in the Silk Road Gallery.
This carved wooden child's cot from Rajasthan is designed to swing to and fro, a simple way to create a small draft in the stifling heat of summer when temperatures reach 45 Celsius.
Note the stone floor - to keep the room as cool as possible - in this next photo of beautifully carved peacock chairs in Shekawati. The multi faceted star pattern of the geometric carving of the lower part of the back is stunning. Indian craftsmen are superb and seem to relish the challenge of creating a brilliantly difficult design.
A low chair like this would need a low side table, here's a link to another article about low wooden tables. Close Up on Indian Furniture - Low Wooden Tables.
And now let's take another look at one of the most spectacular pieces of Indian furniture we had at the Silk Road Gallery, the Lion Throne complete with two peacocks. To sit on a Lion throne is a mark of great respect. As we project great strength and individuality onto a lion, to sit on a lion throne is the highest mark of respect. The Dalai Lama's throne at the Potala Palace in Tibet is a gold lion throne.
Here's a link to another article about Indian furniture. Campaign Tables and Occasional Tables