Maker: Ross & Co.
Subcategory: Campaign Chests
A pair of painted pine Packing Cases by Ross of Dublin, marked Lt. Col Torriano Royal Artillery to the cover boards, with associated mahogany campaign chest. Charles Edward Torriano became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Artillery in 1851, steadily rising through the ranks to become a Lt. Colonel on the 1st October 1876 and a full Colonel on the 1st July 1881. By 1880, Torriano had become the Officer Commanding the 1st Irish (Dublin) Auxiliary Artillery and it's probable, given his rank change, that he bought the Packing Cases in that period. The address numbers to Ross's stencil to the inside doors are not consistent with these dates but it is entirely possible, as only one of the 3 numbers was incorrect, that they carried on using the stencil long after it was out of date. Whether Torriano already owned the chest at this point and purchased the cases for it or the chest joined the cases at a later date is not known.
Although the cases are a good fit for the 3 inch shorter than standard width of the chest, they do not take into account the 1 inch shorter height of the bottom chest section. From this we can determine that they weren't bespoke made by Ross for the chest. However, it's possible that Torriano bought them 'off the shelf' as a general good fit. The Packing Cases are a little different to those by most other companies, as you might expect of Ross. The bolt on protective boards for the front of the cases both have metal fittings to take screw on legs to convert them into tables. There is one set of 4 legs, 11 inches in length, that can be used to make a coffee table but can also be used with the packing cases to raise them off the ground. It is possible that an additional, taller set of legs also accompanied the cases to add to their versatility. Whereas the cases have a number of stylistic features that we have come to recognize as typical of Ross, the chest does not. It is a good, standard mahogany campaign chest which is raised a little by it slightly smaller size. Torriano served in the Crimea and was at Inkerman and Sebastopol. He was also in India during the Mutiny and was involved in several engagements including Lucknow. After Dublin he was based at Sheerness and by 1887 had retired. The Packing Cases are circa 1880 and the chest a little earlier in date.