A mahogany, brass bound Campaign Chest by Richard Millard with patent Secretaire.
The patent dated 1873, and noted on the maker's label to the desk's fall, refers to the pull out stationery rack which hides 2 velvet lined secret drawers. The secretaire has a pair of drawers both above and below the ebony faced rack. A button located above the top right hand drawer allows the rack to be pulled out. It's hinged to then lift up and reveal the secret drawers. If the button is depressed a second time, the whole rack can be removed. The bottom right drawer is fitted with a pen tray and dividers to hold 2 inkwells.
In 1875 Richard Millard dissolved his 20 year partnership with Henry Hill to continue in his own name. Up to this point both names appeared on their labels. Little changed in the running of the business as Hill, although he had put in the start up capital, appears to have had no involvement in its day to day running. The company were one of the better London makers and still enjoy a good reputation. Circa 1880.