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Settee: M.24 & A & B-1982

Object information

Current Location: In storage




Production: Unknown




Settee of padouk with low fretted back and cane seat, with seat cushion and one small additional cushion covered with red damask.


History note: Professor Sir John H. Plumb, Master of Christ's College.

Legal notes

Given by Professor Sir John H. Plumb, Master of Christ's College, Cambridge, 1978-1982

Measurements and weight

Depth: 68.5 cm
Height: 67 cm
Length: 196.8 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1982-07-19) by Plumb, John H.


George III
Production date: circa AD 1800


Furniture was made in various locations on the Indian subcontinent during the period of British colonial rule, either for local use by European officials or for export to the European market. It was often made of padouk, a reddish wood native to Southeast Asia; elaborate examples were inlaid or veneered with ivory or ebony. The use of woven cane for the seats and backs of chairs and settees originated in this hot climate and was quickly adopted all over Europe. In the eighteenth century, Indian craftsman copied furniture designs from pattern-books as well as from original pieces. The Neo-Classical style of this settee, with its tapered legs, curving arms and straight openwork back, was derived from a design by furniture designer Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806). The narrow parallel cuts through the top rail of the back probably resulted from a misreading of the engraving provided for craftsmen to copy, in which grooved decorative carving was represented by parallel black lines.

School or Style


Components of the work

Cushion composed of damask ( red)
Seat Cushion composed of damask ( red)
Frame composed of padouk
Seat composed of cane

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.24 & A & B-1982
Primary reference Number: 95821
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 1 September 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Settee" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-21 18:31:33

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{{cite web|url= |title=Settee |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-21 18:31:33|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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