Vizagapatam on the northern Coromandel coast is a natural harbour midway between Calcutta and Madras. The British East India Company had a trading station there from 1668 and by 1756 the whole area had come under British control. From the late 17th century a tradition grew in Vizagapatam for the manufacture of objects and furniture of Western form, decorated in a distinctive manner, all being inlaid or veneered with ivory etched with black lac. The decoration was drawn from Mogul culture, brilliantly adapted to appeal to western taste. A visitor there in 1756, Major John Corneille, recorded that Vizagapatam was ‘famous for its inlay work, and justly, for they do it to the greatest perfection’.