Learn about Vizagapatam / Sadeli
Vizagapatam, now known as Visakhapatnam is an industrial city that stretches 3 km along the coast between Calcutta and Madras. In British colonial times the city was called Waltair, and part of the city is still known by its colonial British name.
In the mid 18th and 19th century the town became one of the centres in India for the manufacture of small wooden items, especially boxes, and furniture made of local hardwoods such as sandalwood, which has a strong fragrance and elaborately inlaid with ivory and other exotic materials including horn, ivory, porcupine quills and silver.
Another form of decoration used, was with Sadeli mosaics, an ancient craft that is said to have been introduced from Shiraz in Persia (now Iran) to India.
Ivory, silver, pewter, wood and horn were cut into faceted rods which were bound together to form geometric patterns. When the glue was set, the rods were sliced in transverse sections. This gave the maker a number of angled circular pieces in the original pattern. Several variations of patterns could be achieved by combining the materials in different ways. The ivory was sometimes dyed green to give an extra colour. more...