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Gilham Campaign Chest


Maker: Gilham

Category: Archive

Subcategory: Campaign Chests

This brass bound, mahogany campaign chest has a superstructure above with shelves.

The 2 serpentine shelves are hinged to the panelled backboard so that they will pack within it when the brass standards are removed. This chest has a few interesting features that, like the McCarthy chest also illustrated, fit in with it being made by a general cabinet maker. The brass nut plates to the top of the chest for fitting the standards are slightly raised as opposed to flush. To counteract this, there are holes to receive them in the lower shelf, when the backboard is dropped so that it will sit flat. The low bun feet are screwed to blocks from their underside as opposed to being threaded. The top short right hand drawer is also different. The drawer front drops not to reveal a secretaire but a bank of 5 small linen press slides. This is a very unusual feature but one associated with the maker Gilham of Canterbury.

The maker's engraved brass plate is fixed to the top edge of the superstructure board, indicating that it never had a cresting rail but was always intended to be left square. The gilt brass, flush handles are wider than most seen and are all stamped Langebear & Co. who were founders in Birmingham. They were active from the mid to late 19th Century and their name has been found on a variety of brassware from handles to castors. The brass corners and strap work is also a little wider than most and although not stamped, Gilham is likely to bought them from Robert Langebear. The lock to the top left drawer is by Hobbs & Co. who were founded in 1852. A good campaign chest by an uncommon maker. Third Quarter 19th Century.


  • Period: Late 19th Century
  • Medium: Mahogany
  • Country: England
  • Signed: Gilham of Canterbury
  • Exhibition: An Officer's Room
  • Reference Number: 81341