Flights of Fancy: Painted Furniture and Homewares from India
Join us on Thursday 12th October from 6 - 7.30pm for an exclusive late night shopping preview with 10% off all stock* and a glass of wine.
There has been a long tradition in India of painting furniture, interior panelling, and many and varied artefacts. The Nomads Tent has, for almost 3 decades, enjoyed picking out examples on our travels in mainly Northern India and particularly Rajasthan which is a noted centre of woodworking crafts.

This exhibition presents pieces acquired in January 2023 while scouting around Jodhpur’s ‘go-downs’ (warehouses) as well as pieces specially commissioned for our Flights of Fancy exhibition.

On our travels we discovered furniture already painted in various styles. While some examples are quite old, most are more recent, and many are new production. The wood used is often recycled but where new wood is required it is often a variety of fast-growing plantation hardwood known as Sheesham. The often naïve, folk-art style draws on local traditions and imagery.

A variety of furniture, trays and other items we had specially commissioned and were inspired by Audubon’s Birds of America, which - although having no connection at all with India except for the one now introduced by The Nomads Tent - has a notable link with Edinburgh! In these cases we have chosen old and new pieces of furniture and asked our supplier to adapt examples of our selection of Audubon’s plates. We gave the artisans a completely free hand to place the bird images along with traditional local painted borders and other details and we think the result is rather splendid!

Among our commissions are our unique tankis. These are an old Nomads Tent favourite, originally commissioned by us and made from traditional small and large galvanised metal drums primarily designed for grains and food stuffs. They are painted in traditional style which calls to mind English barge painting. They are ideal for laundry, toys, logs, pet food, walking sticks, and whatever else you can think of!

Our selling exhibition of hand painted Indian furniture and homewares opens on Friday 13th October and runs until Sunday 12th November.

*10% off is only valid for the late night shopping evening. Offer does not include sale items.