ANGLO-INDIAN School, 19th-century
A wooden binding with inlaid carved wood panels and inlaid white metal bone and stained bone borders
Wooden binding (10 1/4 x 6 3/8 x 2 3/8 inches approx.), the spine with deep-relief carving on a single large panel of stylised flowers, fruit and foliage and two birds around a central lotus flower, with vertical borders of camel bone and micro-mosaic patterning of white metal (oxidised) camel bone, green-stained camel bone and ebony, the head and foot of the spine of bone, the two covers attached to the spine by pairs of metal hinges, the covers each with a deep-relief carving on a single large panel: one of stylised flowers, fruit and foliage and eight birds and a lion attacking a stag, the other of stylised flowers, fruit and foliage and six birds and a lion, each bordered with panels of black ebony, camel bone and micro-mosaic patterning of white metal (oxidised), bone, green-stained bone and ebony, the inner surface of each cover with an narrow onlaid border surrounding an onlaid purple velvet panel (some damage and losses to the onlays and to the carved lotus flower on the spine)
A spectacular piece of workmanship.
This binding was probably designed as an outer (unattached) covering to a small format photograph album, and sold in British India as an exotic momento of an exotic sub-continent. Although the workmanship is Indian, the design of the carved panels are reminiscent of the douanier Rousseau-esque rain forest teeming with life depicted in the pen and ink drawings produced on Bali (particularly in Ubud).