• Item: Campaign Chest
• Circa: 1840
• Provenance: England, UK
• Wood: Solid teak
• Dismantles into two sections
• Two over three drawer design
• Brass inset handles
• Brass bindings / corner brackets
• Working brass round key escutcheons & lever locks
• Working Bramah lock & key single drawer
• Central “hat” drawer
• Hand dovetailed drawer construction
• Teak drawer linings
• Detachable original turned feet
• Excellent proportions – only 3ft 3” wide
• Stunning original polish & patination
• Dismantles into two sections
• Free 14 day UK returns period
Here is an example of a superb quality and rare antique colonial military campaign teak two-part chest of drawers, in original condition, circa 1840. Constructed with a single piece top, it has shaped brass inset handles to the front and sides; brass mounted corner brackets and brass escutcheons all of which are all in excellent condition. The brass corner brackets and brass straps were used to protect the chest whilst in transit during campaigns. The drawers also feature their original brass round key escutcheons. The drawers have a scribe moulding to the edge depicting cock beading. All drawers are in excellent working order, are clean inside and close flush to the frame. The central drawer is the largest of all; this was to house decorative and parade uniform such as hats (it’s commonly known as a hat drawer). The chest is constructed of solid teak and the hand-dovetailed drawers are constructed of solid teak too. The drawers feature working lever locks and a key. The top right draw features a working high quality Bramah lock & key; this drawer would have been for storing valuables, as Bramah locks, at the time, were impenetrable. The original turned feet are detachable as originally designed. The chest splits into two sections for easy transportation.
The following provides further details and history of the famous Bramah locks: “In 1784, Joseph Bramah designed a round lock mechanism operated by a tubular key, of such complexity and security, that he put it in his shop window and offered a reward of 200 guineas to anyone who could open it. In 1851, at the Great Exhibition in London, A.C Hobbs an American locksmith spent 52 hours spread over 16 days and claimed the prize, but the method and spirit under which it was claimed is commented on by the London Times under the heading of ‘the Great Lock Controversy” (source: http://www.bramah.co.uk/default.asp?lnc=bramah_locks)
The chest features a rich deep mahogany colour. As its boasts the original polish, it has a fantastic colour and patination; this can only be achieved through age and years of care and cleaning it has received.
This item would look superb in a variety of rooms, especially the bedroom. This campaign chest of drawers would certainly grace any home. So don’t miss out your chance to own a lovely piece of furniture.
This campaign chest would have been commissioned for a member of the British Raj or a high-ranking officer in the British Army during the reign of Queen Victoria in colonial India (Calcutta) during the mid 19th Century. Teak was used extensively for military chests. “Teak, which had the advantage of only minimally expanding and contracting when exposed to extremes in temperature and humidity, was probably the most commonly used wood. It was resistant to woodworm, termites, and the occasional splash of seawater.” Source: British Campaign Furniture, Elegance Under Canvas, 1740 – 1914 by Nicholas A. Brawer, page 97.
This chest is in excellent original condition, which is commensurate with its age. There are nominal old use marks to the corners and leading edges but nothing significant considering the age of the item. There are no ink stains, cup marks or burns to the top of the chest. All drawers close flush to the frame. The chest features a rich deep colour. As its boasts the original polish, it has a fantastic colour and patination; this can only be achieved through age and years of care and cleaning it has received. There are working keys with the chest; both for the lever locks and the Bramah lock. The chest boasts the original detachable feet. This item is solid in joint and ready to use.
Height = 164.6cm or 64¾” or 5ft 4¾”
Width = 99cm or 39” or 3ft 3”
Depth = 45cm or 17¾” or 1ft 5¾”
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Ref. Military Chest 28