A three-part life-size Christian chantry in case acrylic from Kochi will acceptable you at the access of the Coomarswamy Hall at CSMVS till Monday evening. The adequate angelic figure is a augury of all the alluringly re-instated appliance at the exhibition-cum-sale by the House of Mahendra Doshi. It’s one of Mumbai’s oldest enactment to assistant pieces of old, alone appliance to their above glory, back 1974. It’s alone amusing media attendance is a Facebook page, created aftermost week, afore this exhibition. Until now, the business alone functioned on articulate and the CSMVS exhibition, captivated every two years.
House of Mahendra Doshi has ahead showcased complete exhibitions on age-old chests, boxes and trunks, and colonial Portuguese appliance from Goa. The accepted copy shows appliance from three altered periods: the British and Dutch colonial era (1900-30s), Art Deco era (1935-60), and the mid-century Modern era of Chippendale and Kamdar appliance (1960-75). The pieces are not abiding according to their archival timelines, but in a borderless ambience of an office, bedroom, or active allowance – archetypal exhibit style. So a colonial rosewood-and-brass-inlay banknote box with innumerable slots from Kerala becomes an actual neighbour to a alpine and athletic Art-Deco appearance Jhanda/Tiranga (after the Indian flag) teak buffet from Mumbai, fabricated of three capital capacity with assorted drawers, compartments and a multi-wood applique bluff of rosewood and cedar in solid strips. Lying snugly, abutting to this, beneath an ageing six-pillar awning with blind lamps from Gujarat is a colonial, 6×7-ft bed in teak from Kolkata, belted by two alveolate bobcat bed posts.
The backward Mahendra Doshi, it is said, could rework complete atom into a affair of beauty, by visualising every aftermost detail of its restoration, abundant to the allure of his nephews – brothers Asim and Chiki Doshi, and their cousin, Anand Gandhi, who now run the business. Chiki, who formed carefully with his uncle, says, “The ambush is in how you adjustment the piece. Treat it like your own child, and you can alive with it for the blow of your life. Painting it atramentous as against to the aboriginal colour or application inferior brightness is a travesty.”
Their three-storeyed workshop-cum-showroom amplitude at Walkeshwar is abounding of acknowledged examples: A mid-18th aeon rosewood table with glassy body, a roll-top architecture and archetypal Indo-Portuguese ‘sunburst’ patterns circumstantial with beat out Art Deco chairs, mostly after a atom of upholstery, and clothed in decades of dust. Alongside, there are assumption affable argosy into which one can calmly blooper and cozy up, anesthetized Chinese urns, copies of Greek amphoras, an arrays of trunks – damachas, majusa, etc., cat-and-mouse to be restored.
Exclusivity is the key which is acumen why the leash overlooks alike the exquisite. “We no best buy sundooks (dowry chests) or catechumen bullock carts into coffee tables,” says Chiki, who has a “soft corner” for Christian iconography and owns board statues of Jesus and Virgin Mary, crosses, and Calamander copse Bible boxes.
The market, however, he admits, is about abandoned of absolutely accomplished colonial furniture. “There’s a absence now, clashing in the 50s and 60s, back these were befuddled abroad for Art Deco and mid-century pieces. The dealers who got it and gave it to us, and we to the end users, but now that amphitheater is over. The absolutely admirable ones accept been awash off, or lying are in people’s homes,” says Chiki, who now reproduces exact replicas of these models. “The 80-year-old pieces that we restore were already aloft a time cast new. Today’s reproductions can become tomorrow’s antiques.”
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