Antique Campaign Table marked Miles Kington & Co.
The top of this oval table is quarter veneered in figured walnut on straight grain timber. The block moulded edge is also straight grain walnut and the top is further decorated with a wave shaped apron that has plain roundels (to disguise the fixing screw holes) at the low points. The column is turned and carved and the cabriole legs have acanthus leaves to the knees and C scrolls. The legs sit on brass castors that are partially set into the bottom of the foot. The table dismantles by way of slotted 3 inch long brass dovetail joints that are used to unite the legs and the top to the column. The dovetail joints gradually narrow so that when the parts of the table are fitted together they will not accidently come apart. The top of the column is stamped with an A, as are the legs which are also numbered from 1 to 3. The underside of the top is not marked. We have seen a similar marking system on an armchair with the same type of dovetail fittings. All the joints are marked AD Brown Patent and Miles Kington & Co. Sole Agents. We have only ever seen such joints stamped with these two names. It is generally regarded that Miles Kington & Co. were the cabinet makers of furniture using this assembly system but the fact that they note themselves as Sole Agents is perhaps closer to the truth. It is also clear that AD Brown invented the type of joint used to assemble this table and so perhaps he was more likely to be the cabinet maker. Another possibility is that Miles Kington sold the joints to a number of different cabinet makers. Every record we have found of the company so far lists them as Merchants, who started in Bristol and then expanded to include premises in Melbourne, Australia and Canterbury, New Zealand. Although they are recorded as having supplied the New Zealand House of Representatives with portable chairs it is very possible that they simply acted as middle men making use of their contacts garnered through selling the AD Brown joints. This would certainly fit in with their role as merchants who supplied Australia and New Zealand by their own ships out of Bristol and later London. The other goods they advertised covered a wide range from supplies such as tea, coffee, sugar, rice and ale to candles, boots, rope and galvanized iron products. They could fit out a complete wool station or gold miner with goods from Britain and then send wool and other local commodities back on the same ship. They also acted as agents for fire insurance and mortgage companies. So perhaps Miles & Kington should be regarded as suppliers of Campaign Furniture as opposed to makers. However, what is certain is that this table is well made and a noteworthy example of portable furniture. Mid 19th Century.
|Height:||29.5 ins (74.93 cm)|
|Width:||33 ins (83.82 cm)|
|Depth:||27 ins (68.58 cm)|
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