Maker: Ross & Co.
Subcategory: Other Furniture
The unusual dimensions of the cabinet of this walnut Chiffonier perhaps give a clue that it was designed to be more than just a piece of furniture. The carved crest rail lifts off and when the columns of the superstructure are unscrewed the hinged shelves fall flat against the mirrored back and in turn this falls on its hinges to lie flat against the top of the cabinet. When the side mouldings and small bun feet are also removed you are left with a regular boxed case. A Ross & Co. of Dublin label to the inside of the doors gives directions on how to pack the cabinet's bookshelf columns as well as six chairs, a couch and a round pillar table which would originally have fitted into the case.
The cabinet has faux painted pine sides and iron strap work to reduce weight and strengthen respectively. The removable side mouldings are cut to allow material to be pinned from them to hang down the sides. As the trouble was taken to paint the sides in faux wood, therefore not needing to be covered, it would suggest that this material served some other purpose. Perhaps it was fitted with pockets to give extra storage, we can only guess. There is also a brass Ross label to the inside of the drawer. A very similar Chiffonier, also by Ross, but 8 inches shorter in depth and 5 in height is illustrated in Nicholas Brawer's British Campaign Furniture. However, it does not have mirror plate to the back of the bookshelves and has instructions to pack four instead of six chairs. The Balloon Back Chairs by Ross also shown in the Archive of this website were probably made to fit into a cabinet such as this. Third quarter 19th century.
Dimensions set up are given.