Traditional street markets in India are great places to wander around. The jumble of winding, glittering, medieval streets, which never seem to lead where you expect them to, scented by spices, incense, lotus blossom, with shops and bazaars selling everything from tea and temple decorations to silver and saris.
Many merchant’s still use traditional antique merchant chests and boxes to store money, record books and receipt books, personal documents and letters. They are a cross between cash box, till and personal organiser. They usually look quite plain from the outside, but can have decorative brass edging and corners and motifs or hand painting on front and top panels. On the inside, they will usually have multiple compartments, some with lids for storing their possessions, shelves and racks in their lids. and manyy have secret and hidden compartments! Fine examples made from teak will have up to 20 different compartments with handcarved lids and handles.
They are usually made from a hardwood such as teak, rosewood or mangowood, but can be found made from iron or even leather.
Many would have been older stationery chests and boxes used for storing old styled pens, bottles of ink, paper and envelopes.
Antique stationery and merchant chests will all vary in size, style and colour and are usually between 40 – 100 years old. Boxes from the different parts of India will be made differently incorporating local decorative styles and use local materials and woods. Today, these vintage boxes make great memory boxes, wedding chests and keepsakes boxes for all those precious memories and events in peoples’ lives.
Our favourite old market in India is Sadar Market in Jodhpur. Those wanting a real adventure should try Sadar Market, New Delhi or the those in Old Delhi.
Scaramanga spend many hours discovering authentic vintage and antique chests, boxes and trunks as well as antoque and vntage furniture and interiors. Each is handpicked are carefully restored by expert craftsmen.