Pair antique Ottoman marquetry tables - converted (53 x 41cm)
53 height x 41 cm mean width = 21 x 16 "
In the late Victorian and Edwardian boudoirs such furniture added a touch of exoticism to British interiors the most famous Leighton House , Holland Park London being the most extreme example. The condition of this pair is outstanding notwithstanding the accomplished conversion work to vanity cases almost certainly undertaken in a British workshop possibly Liberty & Co judging from the quality brass hinges , lock mechanisms and stunning deep button deportment The decorative script in the centre of each table reads " Oh Ali " ( not Allah ) . In these tables the decorative forms transpose positive negative elements taking full advantage of the marquetry process making a part mirrored pair.
These marquetry tables were ultimately modeled on Nasrid originals with the workshops proliferating from Istanbul to Syria and from Cairo under the late Ottomans. Such inlaid furniture form a distinct variation with a lighter carcass of pine and adorned with Mother of Pearl and ebony as distinct from heavier solid carved fruitwood of the Levant with Masharabia. This technique survives to this day in Damascus or did until very recently.