Two-Piece Campaign Chest with Folding Desk
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Two-Piece Campaign Chest with Folding Desk

 

England
19th Century

Camphor wood, brass, leather
Cm 106 high x 98 wide x 47 deep
With writing desk extended, the total depth is 91cm

This 19th century camphor wood British military Campaign two-piece chest of drawers features a hidden fold-out writing desk. The attractive "blonde" camphor wood is contrasted with dark ebony painted detailing, and original brass hardware. The full width writing desk has various drawers and cubbyholes, and the original green leather writing surface is bordered in an embossed gold design. Well constructed and sturdy, the furniture sits solidly on four turned "bun" feet.

This particular style of furniture was originally developed to carry the belongings of officers during long military campaigns. It was built of durable materials and designed for travel, hence being able to separate into two parts, with flat brass drawer pulls, and folding brass carry handles. The quality of materials and handsome aesthetic of these pieces became identified with the officer class.

At the turn of the century, with both improved transportation methods and changes in military strategies, British forces opted for a more mobile and efficient fighting force, and thus an officer's need for this type of furniture came to an end. Many of these "ex-Campaign " pieces moved on into civilian life, carrying with them the romantic air of past adventures...

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