Campaign chest of drawers, Age and wood type?

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by 808 raver, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Hi all, I am wondering if I may pray on your vast experience and knowledge? I would like to know what the age of this piece is and the wood type? I will say the feet aren't original, when I got the chest it didn't have anything just holes where feet/legs were. I think might be teak but I'm not sure, the draw sides seem the be of the same wood but the back and base of the draw aren't, mahogany? 56cm deep 99cm high and 96cm wide.
     

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  2. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

  3. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

  4. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Doesn't look like teak to me. One of the species of so-called plantation mahogany to my eye. Consequently, believe it to be an Asian import from sometime the last 50 years.
     
  5. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Perhaps I didn't do a good job in taking photos, I wasn't asking if it was a fake, it isn't, just didn't know what century it was ie 19th or 18th
     
  6. Ghopper1924

    Ghopper1924 Well-Known Member

    Agree with very brad on mahogany and 20th century.
     
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  7. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    What makes you think it's not period?
     
  8. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    The dovetails,the secondary wood,no sign of real age,etc. What makes you think it is ? Its a lovely piece regardless.
     
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  9. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    The dovetails are exact and hand done, the boards are large, the locks and the brass key holes are at least 19th, the draw runners are well worn, the back has lots of age compared to the inside ect. Sorry but I didn't expect if it were an antique to be in question. The only thing I can see why you would question it is the draws rub on the inside of the carcass making them look fresh or new.
     
  10. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    I think it's my bad photos, if you were here looking at it the age wouldn't be in question.
     
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  11. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    It's in a very dark part of the house, it's big and hard to move to get it into the light, it's full of stuff and if I use a flash it makes the wood look different. I have over 100 antiques in the house and I've never questioned if it was younger than 100 years old.
     
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  12. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    My antique dealer / french polisher friend says its definitely Mahogany and may have been comissioned for an officer.
    He dates it from the photos shown between 1920-50.
    Campaign chest are supposed to split into two for ease of transport.

    The feet and legs often rotted away because wooden floors were always being washed leaving the feet sodden.
     
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  13. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Not an expert but yes, I think that's correct and usually have carry handles on the side.
     
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  14. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Didn't the British army abandon campaign furniture just after 1900? Story I heard is, they got into a scuffle with the Dutch in South Africa during the Boer War and got embarrassed with mobility issues. Much campaign furniture was done away with as a result.
     
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  15. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Ok after doing a bit of research, periods for campaign chests were (1714–1901) and the The dominant type breaks down into two sections but that also leaves whole chests being used as well ( https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/STUNNING...146278?hash=item2af215dfe6:g:w9kAAOSwr0VfYfUD ) Normal chests were converted into campaign chests and also made for the purpose by cabinet makers before the Army and Navy stores started making them at the end of the 19th c. Unfortunately their popularity has seen many copies and conversions in the last 20 years. I'm in no doubt, mine wasn't made in the Asia, nor has it been made in the last 20-100 years, it's all hand cut dovetails and hand plane evidence everywhere. I will admit that in some stage of its life it may have been converted (other than marked A&N pieces this could be true of any piece). A antique bit of furniture does not have to be really dirty to be old, if it's been in a good clean house and not mistreated inside will look very clean, it's not until you look at the back where it's not regularly cleaned you can see evidence of age. I'm sorry to disagree but I have had a open mind while this conversation has been taking place and I've looked for any evidence of what you have been saying and found nothing to confirm your suspicions.
     
  16. Adrian Lewis

    Adrian Lewis Journeyman

    I have to agree with davedempsey's French polisher, but nearer mid 20thC than earlier. The brass reinforcement/protection is quite unconvincing as far as 19thC Campaign chests go as those were made to withstand damage falling off the backs of mules over rough terrain (worst case scenario). A 19thC Campaign chest was four drawer two-piece, or two/three drawer with a desk/officer's accessory cabinet etc in the top half or variations thereof. The quarter-square beading in the drawers is also another common feature of early-mid 20thC English furniture, part hand and part machine made....if indeed English. The brass mounts are purely decorative and too thin to be of any use against damage in transit as can be seen in this image where a screw has been over tightened and bent the thin brass plate.

    upload_2020-9-26_12-44-34.png
     
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  17. 808 raver

    808 raver Well-Known Member

    Is this a wind up? surely members can tell the difference between hand cut dovetails and machine made, or the fact that brass strapping is inlaid/recessed into the wood flush with the outside of the carcass, or that there are quarter beading is in all campaign draws, even the marked A&N ones, or that an optical illusion of unpolished brass would make it look like the strapping is bent.
    I would implore members to go and have a look at this ebay seller who specialises in campaign furniture, they have 83 pieces and all the period pieces are clearly stated as such in the description then compare those to mine and you will see mine isn't a repro!!!! I didn't think it would be necessary to argue that mine is a original/period piece especially when the evidence is there for anyone who knows anything about antiques to see.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/wimbledon-furniture-01
     
  18. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    My Antique dealer never said it was a repro, he also said it was not a period piece.
    It was comissioned by someone in the 20th century.
    He has just spoken to me about an hour ago, he has seen the posts and agrees with everything @Adrian Lewis said.
     
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  19. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Not that I know anything about British campaign furniture, I don't! :p but, if OP already knows all about his piece, why ask the forum for "Age and wood type"? and then reject all the opinions presented? :confused:
     
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  20. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    Well,maybe he needs a break from sitting under bridges eating goats and little children ? :)
     
    James Conrad likes this.
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