A mahogany, brass bound Secretaire Military Chest.
As to be expected, the chest of drawers is in two parts with the top located on a pair of wooden lugs to the bottom section. The turned legs unscrew for travel. The secretaire has a replaced retainer board, to prevent the drawer moving during travel and a green leather skiver with gilt tooled decoration. There are 3 internal drawers with an area for papers below the longer bottom drawer. The top 2 short drawers are flanked by pigeon holes and have plain interiors. The bottom drawer has dividers for one inkwell to the right with a lidded compartment behind it.
Normally the fronts of the internal drawers of a campaign secretaire are only veneered in a smarter wood. These are made of solid Birds Eye maple which is a pointer to the quality of this campaign chest. Another pointer is that all the external drawers are fitted with Hobbs locks. More often than not, a more expensive lock such as a Hobbs would only be fitted to one drawer. The chest also has brass bands to every board between the drawers and further bands to the top to strengthen the chest.
By repute this chest belonged to Captain Jesse Dixon of the Royal Navy and passed through the family until its sale. Dixon was born in 1840 and purchased the chest when he was 31. We know this because the cabinet maker noted the date May 25 / 71 and his name, D. Freeman in pencil under the secretaire's dust board.
This is a very good quality, late 19th century campaign secretaire chest. Dated 1871.
The shelves illustrated on the chest are sold separately.