Most of the campaign furniture on the market is associated with the time of the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries when there was a high demand from military officers, administrators and colonists.
Campaign furniture is demountable, through clever use of wooden screws and sometimes metal hinges, so that it can disassembled and then packed into lots of managable size for ease of movement by ship or animal between postings or camps.
The most common example of campaign furniture is the chest, which breaks into an upper and lower section, each with brass or rope handles at the sides. The corners are protected by brass cappings, and the handles are recessed so they are flush with front of the chest. The usual form is two half drawers and three full drawers, standing on baluster legs which usually unscrew, again for ease of transport.
Many campaign chests bear the label or plate of the retailer or maker, such as the Army & Navy Stores in London or Ross & Co. of Dublin, Ireland. more...Other examples can be found that were made in India in the late 19th century, for use by the occupying British army, in local timbers such as camphor wood and teak, which resembles a paler version of mahogany when polished but without the grain markings.
The campaign chest is the most commonly seen item, but a wide variety of items were produced including beds, chairs, tables and desks.
Because of its situation, use and frequent moves, campaign furniture often bears the scars of its extensive travelled life.
Learn about Chest of Drawers
Until the mid-19th century, the standard chest had either four long, or three long and two short drawers. Rarely were there any exceptions to this rule. A chest with three drawers, or a series of small upper drawers, purporting to be Georgian, will probably have been converted from a chest-on-chest or tallboy. It is true that the 18th century commode often contain two long deep drawers, but this was a much grander and more decorative piece altogether, intended for drawing rooms, not bedrooms, and in any case was usually made to stand on legs. The standard chest of drawers continued to be made throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries (some Edwardian pine chests even had bracket feet), but variations were introduced during the mid-Victorian period, with some chests having seven or more drawers usually a deep hat drawer and smaller glove compartments. Chests with barley-sugar twist or split bobbin-turned supports date from the mid-19th century.
An Anglo Indian teak secretaire campaign chest, late 19th century, with brass fittings and carry handles, the central fall front drawer enclosing pigeon holes and drawers, flanked by short drawers above lower section of three drawers, 107 width x 51.5 dept
An Anglo Indian teak campaign chest, late 19th century, with two stages, brass fittings and carry handles, two short above three long drawers, on bun feet, 106 width x 55 depth x 110 cm height. Condition: Repair to one bun foot, brass fitting to one drawer
Rare Anglo-Indian campaign mahogany chest of drawers mid 19th century with its original two-part fitted transit packing case, the chest in two parts with two short and three long drawers on detachable bun feet, with brass-bound corner mounts. Provenance: P
A 19th century camphor wood split military chest, the upper section with two drawers over one drawer of full width, the lower section with two drawers of full width, all with recessed brass handles, brass carrying handles to the sides, brass capping and bi
An Anglo Indian Secretaire campaign chest, camphor wood and brass, second quarter of the 19th century, separating into two sections, the upper section having a fall front secretaire drawer flanked by a single and two smaller drawers respectively, below whi
An Anglo-Indian campaign chest, camphorwood, ebony and brass strung, second quarter of the 19th century, separating into two sections, the upper section comprising two half width and a full width drawers, the lower section comprising two full width drawers
A Victorian mahogany military split chest, two short over one full width drawer to the top section, two full width drawers to the base, brass recessed handles, raised on bulbous and tapered legs, minor attention required
A West Australian jarrah campaign style chest of drawers c.1910. Marked inner 'H. G. Hunter, maker Perth ..127 Bulwer?, Oct 4th 1910'. The chest has two half drawers, over two full size drawers manufactured in a 'Campaign style' with recessed brass handles
A 19th century mahogany campaign chest, raised on bracket feet, the lower half with two full width drawers, the top with one full width and two of half width, inset brass drawer handles and with brass handles to the sides of both portions, brass strapping,
A good 19th century mahogany secretaire campaign chest. Two section split form, with secretaire. The fall enclosing birdseye maple drawers and pigeon holes, red leather inset writing surface, all above three long drawers, inset brass corner capping, strapp
A Georgian mahogany small proportion military campaign chest of four drawers in two sections, each drawer with oak lining, the fronts with beaded edging and inlaid recessed handles (some parts absent), wrought iron carry handles fixed to either side, the f
A 19th century mahogany military campaign chest of unusual configuration, by the 'Army & Navy C.S.L. (Makers)', in a configuration of two drawers above three of full width, the upper section right hand drawer opening as a secretaire and with an interior fi
The Chauvel campaign chest, an Anglo-Indian teak and brass bound campaign chest, circa 1870, property of Captain (later Major) C.G.T. Chauvel, 35th Regiment the rectangular top with brass corners above four long drawers with reeded decoration and brass han
A 2 door campaign chest with lidded drawers, mid 19th century, walnut and mahogany?. The chest comprises of 12 drawers each having, fitted covers with brass handles, with two wrought, iron carrying handles opposite ends. Height 42 cm. Width 96 cm. Depth 42
A teak military secretaire chest, the upper section with a full width drawer, the front opening to reveal pigeon holes and small drawers, above two drawers of half width, the lower section with two drawers of full width, all with recessed brass handles, br
Campaign mahogany chest of drawers, brass bound with recessed brass handles, two long drawers, three short drawers and one small drawer with brass loop handles. Height 86 cm. Depth 53.5 cm. Length 113 cm
A 19th century mahogany secretaire campaign chest, of two section form with a secretaire drawer, the fall enclosing drawers and pigeon holes, above three drawers, inset brass corner capping, strapping and handles, raised on short turned legs. 101 cm high,
A Victorian Anglo-Colonial teak campaign chest, latter half 19th century, of typical form in two halves with two short above three long drawers, with brass flush handles to the drawers and protective brass corners throughout, brass carrying handles to the
A Victorian mahogany campaign chest, latter half 19th century, of typical form in two halves with four long drawers, on turned feet, with brass flush handles to the drawers and sides and protective brass corners to the front. Height 107 cm. Width 91 cm. De
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