Campaign Style Mini Chest

PRESENTING A GORGEOUS and beautifully proportioned Campaign Style Mini Chest.

Late 19th Century, circa 1890, probably made in Colonial India.

Perfect as a side table for a sofa or just for use as a side cabinet for storage.

5 Drawers, each banded with brass in the Campaign furniture style.

The top has a central brass cross cartouche and the top is banded with brass and the corners with brass inserts on the style of hinge plaques.

Made of exotic hardwood with GORGEOUS patina and grain.

It sits on 4 feet.

Campaign furniture is a type of furniture made for travel. Historically, much of it was made for military campaigns.

Any furniture specifically made to break down or fold for ease of travel can be described as campaign furniture. It was designed to be packed up and carried on the march. It has been used by traveling armies since at least the time of Julius Caesar but it is commonly associated with British Army officers, many of whom had purchased their commissions. With the rise and expansion of the British Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries the demand by the military, administrators and colonists increased. British officers of high social position in the Georgian and Victorianperiods (1714–1901) often carried high-quality portable furniture.

The most common item of campaign furniture is the chest of drawers, often referred to as a military chest or campaign chest. Campaign chests’ primary wood was often mahogany, teak, or camphor, although cedar, pine and other woods were also used. The dominant type breaks down into two sections, and has removable feet. The brass corners and strapwork offer some protection and typify the distinctive “campaign look”.

A similar type of furniture was made for naval service, and even for merchant ships, which allowed furnishings to be used in port or peacetime, but stowed out of harm’s way in action, or during rough weather. Naval furniture is often extremely small, reflecting the cramped quarters available on ship. (Some sea-going pieces were also made for frequent travelers, or intended for permanent use after the journey.) Seagoing furniture sometimes has fiddle rails to prevent items from sliding off top surfaces; the fiddles were often themselves removable, with brass mounting sockets for the fiddle pins.

Some items of campaign furniture are instantly recognizable as made to dismantle or fold. Brass caps to the tops of legs, hinges in unusual places, protruding bolts or X-frame legs all give clues to the functionality of the piece. However, some pieces were designed to be up to date and fashionable. In such cases, as much of it looked like domestic furniture, it is harder to see how it dismantles. Ross and Co. of Dublin were innovators of campaign furniture design and much of their work is obviously Victorian in period. It only becomes apparent that their balloon back chairs dismantle when they are turned upside down and two locking bolts can be seen.


Campaign Style Mini Chest.

Provenance: From a Private Dallas Collection. Originally bought in San Francisco in the 1990’s.

Condition: Very good.

Dimensions: 21.25″ Tall, 15″ Deep and 14.75″ Wide