Mahogany British Campaign Desk
Mahogany British Campaign Desk
Mahogany British Campaign Desk
Mahogany British Campaign Desk
Mahogany British Campaign Desk
Mahogany British Campaign Desk
Mahogany British Campaign Desk
Mahogany British Campaign Desk
Mahogany British Campaign Desk

Mahogany British Campaign Desk

c. 1900 England

Offered by M. S. Rau Antiques

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This extraordinary and rare English desk is an impeccable example of English campaign furniture. Crafted of mahogany, this compact desk was in service under Field Marshal Sir Frederick Paul Haines, the celebrated military officer known for his command in the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, and then in the Crimean War. He was elevated to the rank of Field Marshal, the highest rank in the British Army, in 1890, and this remarkable piece of furniture befits this distinction.

It opens to reveal a portable secretaire administrative station, complete with writing surface, clearly labeled drawers, and a working scale, filing slots, pens and ink for maximum efficiency. Also contained within are candles and candlesticks, playing cards and poker chips, and a bar set of cut glass decanters and tumblers for after-work relaxation.

A mechanical marvel, this desk was also perfect for concealing a wealth of secrets. If one triggers latches hidden behind the lower drawers, the side panels descend to reveal hidden drawers and a working safe. Silver-framed photographs of George V and Queen Mary indicate that this desk was used well after Haines retired from the Army.

The expansion of the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries resulted in the production of campaign furnishings that proved to be stylish, practical, and some of the most fascinating pieces ever created. Also, known as "knock-down furniture," campaign pieces were as elegant as any of their non-traveling counterparts, but could be taken apart and re-assembled quickly without tools. As British officers of the higher ranks went on campaign in Africa or India, they expected to live much the same as they did in England, with the same or similar amenities. Thus, many furniture makers began to design furniture that was sophisticated, sturdy and able to be used in a range of settings. Made out of high-quality materials, campaign furniture soon became popular with the landed gentry of Britain. To find such an exceptional example of this revolutionary type of furniture, in such wonderful condition, is extraordinary.
Excellent
Dimensions
Height 48.00 inch (121.92 cm)
Width 33.00 inch (83.82 cm)
Depth 19.50 inch (49.53 cm)
Stock Code
30-3337
Medium
Mahognay
Signed/Inscribed
Marked "Field Marshal Henry Norman" on interior cover.
M. S. Rau Antiques

M. S. Rau Antiques
630 Royal Street
New Orleans
Louisiana
70125
United States

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