An unusual sized leather hide trunk by Drew & Sons of 33 Piccadilly London. The proportions of this trunk are similar to that of a boot trunk but much smaller. Although it has been re-lined in red ticking there is no evidence of it having had any fittings which might suggest a specific use. It is as well made as you would expect of Drew and the re-enforced hide corners and extra domed brass studs to the sides show that it was meant to offer good protection to the contents. The carrying handles are made of thick layers of hide to bear the weight and the lid is shut by 2 short belts traps.
Drew's details are stamped to the belted lock flap and the brass lock is engraved AW Foster Esq, Brockhampton Court, Fawley Sta(tion), GWR. Arthur Wellesley Foster and his American wife were given Brockampton Court as a wedding present by her father Ebenenzer D. Jordan of Boston around 1885 and they lived there for 30 years. He went on to become a Lieutenant in the Shropshire Yeomanry in April 1902 and retired as a Captain 9 years later. It is probable that he bought this trunk before he joined the Yeomanry. Drew opened premises at 33 Piccadilly in about 1887 and this date ties in with his arrival at Brockhampton Court. The trunk has the appearance of being older than its late 19th Century date.
Drew & Sons noted on their letterhead that they were established in 1844.
Like many 19th century campaign furniture makers, they started out as luggage and travel good makers adding portable furniture to their range of goods as the demand became apparent. They were foremost known for their high end leather goods and picnic sets, however the whole of their second floor at Piccadilly Circus was given over to Military Furniture and Campaigning Equipments. They also made a point of stating on their paperwork that they made all their own goods and to the highest quality. The Drew items we have seen testify to this and indeed they enjoyed the patronage of Queen Victoria, the Royal Family and most of the Courts of Europe.
Their main address was 33, 35-37 Piccadilly Circus but they also had premises at 155 Leadenhall Street, London and 42 Kings Road, Brighton. Their manufactories were located at Burlington Buildings, Heddon Street and at Hatton Gardens, London.