Luxury Design, Past & Present
Early 20th Century Rosewood Campaign Chest with Desk Drawer - Campaign furniture is not only durable and practical, but it was elegant, designed in the most fashionable contemporary tastes and it engaged the skills of the finest makers and designers of the 18th and 19th centuries. This piece made for a member of the British officers corp would have been ordered while on Campaign in India. Constructed in two parts to be packed and transported in boxes either on camel, train or ship covering ground during fighting maneuvers and long deployments. Officers were expected to maintain the social statues and conventions seen in society back home. This required furniture well-made and of a kind associated with life outside of war. Desks, book cases, chest of drawers, sofas, beds, chairs and dressing tables all had to be not only well-made but expressive of the officers life style and living standards. Early on for example in the Napoleonic wars these items would have been made in England to English standards. Afterwards with the large colonial Empire created by England's mastery of the sea and the massive deployment of troops to foreign lands these pieces were made from exotic woods resistant to infestation in areas of deployment. Also as members rose in rank, suitable furniture was required on site to place them in the correct social levels expected of offices creating the need to order furniture that when shipped back home illustrated the countries and locations they serviced in and ruled. This piece a chest of drawers and a desk with many compartments was made in India and is constructed in a dense heavy rosewood. This expensive visually exciting exotic hard wood worked well as it is dense and impervious to most insect infestation and is well suited to travel and temperature shifts while still expressing manly characteristics. The fall front desk section contains nine obvious small drawers with a secret concealed drawer and we believe two further drawers that we cannot figure out how to access. While the chest area houses ten drawers of different sizes allowing for storage and use. The entire piece is banded with brass strapping protecting edges during transportation. The graining and color of the wood is great, the piece retains an old but well-polished finish and the green baize on the fall front desk is old and stained it is usable and in relatively good order.