Maker: William Day
Subcategory: Campaign Chests
A teak short drawer Secretaire Campaign Chest by W. Day & Son. The secretaire has Bird's Eye maple veneer, two long drawers and four pigeon holes. The bottom interior drawer is fitted to take two inkwells with a pen tray and desk tidy. The main lock, which is to the Secretaire drawer, is marked Bramah Patent along with Day & Son and his two addresses on the Strand. The maker's name is also tooled to the centre of the leather desk skiver, which is typical of the company. The two part chest is brass bound with removable feet and the drawer linings are in teak.
William Day was established in 1812 and like many of his competitors, started life as a trunk maker. He patented an expandable trunk which could be altered in size and boasted of The Dukes of York and Sussex as his customers. It seemed it was a natural step for a number of these trunk makers to move into producing camp equipage and Day was no exception. His adverts show that he sold sets of campaign furniture very similar to other London makers such as Allen and Hill & Millard. It seems that his main address was 353 Strand, London although he expanded to included 378 by 1841. The London Directory of 1828 also shows that he had premises at 31 Holywell Street just off the Strand. Whether this was a workshop or for retail is not known. By 1865 the company was trading as W. Day & Son however, by 1870 they are no longer listed in the directories. As an aside, by 1880 John Pound, one of Day's competitors, had taken over his premises at 378 Strand.
William Day and Son were good makers and this is echoed in the quality of this chest. Circa 1865.