Anglo Indian Chinese Secretaire Chest
This small teak Anglo Indian Secretaire Campaign Chest is far superior in quality to most that were made. As can be seen it is made in three pieces instead of two, having a separate base instead of fixed bracket feet. It is probable that this chest was made in the same workshops as Col. Balfour’s Cabinet, illustrated in our England Expects catalogue. There is also a very similar chest at Old Government House, Parramatta, Australia. The quality of the cabinet work is very good and probably by a Chinese cabinet maker, working in India. Their standard and rate of work was considered, even at the turn of 1800, as far better than most Indian cabinet makers and a good number were established in the country. The ring pull handles to the three interior drawers have faceted holders and the drawers have a moulded ebony edge and an incised moulding line to the top of the drawers. These attributes all tie in with the Balfour cabinet and Old Government House chest. The choice of timber is also good and the iron handles to the sides better than the norm. The brass strapwork is cast and so more substantial than the standard Indian ones. The lugs that unite the two halves are part of the brass corners and again indicate the quality. Most Indian chests tend to have the strapwork pinned whereas theses are firmly screwed in place. The backs of both sections of the chest are marked with the original owner’s details. Regrettably, they are too worn to read the name but the 89th Regiment is legible. Both sections of the chest are marked No. 4, suggesting the owner had at least 3 other chests. The 89th were in India from 1810 to 1831 and it can be surmised that this was when the chest was purchased. Circa 1830.
|Height:||35.75 ins (90.81 cm)|
|Width:||29.5 ins (74.93 cm)|
|Depth:||16.25 ins (41.28 cm)|
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