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Georgian Antique Military Campaign Chest

Reference
6285
Height
32 3/4" (83 cm)
Width
39 1/4" (99.5 cm)
Depth
18" (46 cm)
This Georgian mahogany Campaign Chest is of an early and rare form.

It doesn't divide in two like a standard campaign chest but when the turned feet are removed it still forms a very square compact size. As can be seen, the top is hinged to fold forward and sit on pullout lopers to form a writing area. The 'Jack in the Box' sits behind the top drawer, which is a third of the depth of the others, and it is revealed when the top is opened. It lifts up by means of a campaign handle to the top and sprung metal bars pop out from the sides to support it in position. The 'Jack in the Box' has a number of drawers for stationary etc., all fitted with small skeletal campaign handles. Indeed, all the brass handles including those for carrying to the sides, are skeletal which is a good indication of its early age. Another indication is its unusual design.

As noted above, it doesn't split in two, but added to this the chest is not protected with the brass straps and corners that are a hallmark of later campaign chests. Of further note are the feet. They are not bracket feet as you see on some military chests of this period and are removable but they are fitted purely by tight lugs rather than a screw thread. We have seen this on one or two other examples of early campaign furniture and it is probable that this type of foot was a transitional stage between the fixed foot and the more secure screw on foot. Aside from its unusual but clever form, this is an interesting campaign chest because it illustrates a period when the cabinet maker was exploring the practicalities of making furniture for travel. The idea that a two part chest with removable feet was the design best suited for travel was yet to be universally established.
Height
32 3/4" (83 cm)
Width
39 1/4" (99.5 cm)
Depth
18" (46 cm)
Medium
Mahogany
Origin
England
Style
Georgian
Exhibitions
Essential Baggage