Ship's Campaign Chest

Ship's Campaign Chest


A walnut Chest of Drawers purpose built for a ship.

Although not immediately obvious when looking straight on, this chest was made as a 'wedge' shape to fit a specific place in a ship's cabin. It is 4 1/4 inches deeper on one side than the other. The left side is 13 3/4 inches in depth which increases to 18 inches to the right side.

The chest is fairly plain and simple but has an overhanging thumbnail mould to the top edge and larger than expected turned feet. The drawer linings are thick pine with their dovetails machine cut. The brass campaign handles sit slightly proud of the drawer fronts and their rounded design is different to most of the period.

The handles are stamped with the brass founder's name 'N. F. Ramsay, Newcastle On Tyne' to the back plate. Ramsay were established in 1885 and made a variety of different brass wares including locks, door fittings, hinges etc. as well as bronze and ironworks. They also made fittings specifically for ships and boasted Cunard, P&O, CIE Generale Transatlantique and the Adelaide Steamship Co. amongst their customers. They were based in Newcastle but also had locations in London, Birmingham and Glasgow, as well as several overseas agencies.

By repute, this chest came from a ship called Jupiter, purchased when it was broken up, along with other items bearing the vessel's name. There have been several ships of that name but the two most likely candidates are a Paddle Steamer built in 1896 and used for passenger excursions and a Majestic Class Naval Battleship launched a year later. Both were built by James & George Thomson of Clydebank. The cabinet maker has written 'Engineer 630 No. 2 Star' in several places along with the drawer location where relevant.

This is an interesting Chest for its unusual shape, bespoke made to fit a certain place on board a ship. Late 19th Century.


Height 106.64 cm / 42 "
Width 79.98 cm / 31 "
Depth 40.62 cm / 16 "

Late 19th Century.






N. F. Ramsay, Newcastle On Tyne


Shipboard Furniture

From Chair To Cannon

Walnut has original dark stain. Splice repair to side edge at back.