Reversible games board

16th century (made)


Length: 32.5 cm, Width: 29.2 cm

1961-1899 SSEA

Reversible, rectangular games board, teak veneered with ebony, citronwood, ivory and micromosaic, Gujarat or Sindh, late 16th or early 17th century.

Chess board on one side; ornately decorated reverse side for a so far unidentified game; teak veneered with ebony, citronwood, ivory and micromosaic motifs.

The use of tropical woods shows that this reversible games board was made in the Indian subcontinent. One side has alternating squares of ebony and ivory for chess; the other has divisions and ornate decoration for a game which has yet to be identified. Travellers to the regions of Sindh and Gujarat in the 16th century often refer to the local manufacture of finely worked ivory-inlaid games boards made there, of which this may be a rare surviving example.

Calza, Gian Carlo (ed.) Akbar: the great emperor of India. Rome : Fondazione, Roma Museo, 2012. ISBN 978-88-572-1525-9 (hard cover edition); ISBN 978-88-572-1793-2 (soft cover edition). p.247 , cat. no.III.3.

Location: In Storage

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