A low, mahogany antique campaign Chest by Maynard & Comy. of 27 Poultry, London. The 2 parts of the chest are united by a slightly unusual system. Each section has a brass plate with the top a removable dome headed bolt and the bottom a pear shaped cut out to receive the bolt and lock the 2 halves together. The chest has brass corners to the top front only and long brass corner straps to the front where the 2 parts meet. The skeletal handles have a good rounded shape. The drawer linings are made of oak with pine to the back. The chest has 2 labels: one to the top right hand drawer and the second in the top long drawer.
Maynard's address on the labels is 27, Poultry and he opened his self-styled Asiatic Office at this address on the 16th of May 1831. For a brief period after moving he noted his previous address of Ludgate Street, as on these labels, but seems to have dropped his term Asiatic Office shortly thereafter. By repute, the chest comes from the Duff Family Estate at Park-Banffshire. If it was first bought by the family this would suggest it was owned either by James Duff, the 4th Earl or more likely Lieutenant-General Honourable Alexander Duff, his brother, who became the Colonel of the 37th Foot in on the 20th July 1831. He had enlisted in the 66th Regiment in 1793, distinguished himself throughout the Napoleonic Wars and was also the Member of Parliament for Elgin Burghs, from 1826 to 1831. As a politician and with the family owning Fife House in Whitehall it's entirely possible that Alexander bought his campaign furniture in London.
A good, much lower than standard Campaign Chest. Circa 1831.
Maynard & Co. are not one of the first names you would think of when considering makers of campaign furniture. However, they were one of a number of companies who developed a business that could offer every assistance to the traveller to the East from booking their passage and selecting their cabin to supplying their portable furniture.
This wide range of services and goods included keeping a register of ships to the East and intelligence from India, arranging insurance, forwarding packets, clearing, warehousing and delivering baggage on the return of families from India. The goods they sold included Saddlery, Harness, Linen, China, Glass, Band and Musical Instruments and all Mess and General Supplies. They were appointed by the Honourable East India Company to supply uniforms to their artillery officers and promised to offer the best quality and to strictly correct designs for each presidency. Aside from the HEIC, they directed their adverts at Gentlemen, Ladies, Officers and their Families, Writers, Assistant Surgeons and of course Army and Naval Cadets. Many of these goods would have been bought in or commissioned rather than made themselves. This certainly would have been the case when they first made the switch to East India Agents and is backed up by a final line in an advert of 1831 which states 'Samples of Goods suited for India will be received for sale'. However, it is not known whether they progressed to making their own furniture as the business grew. The illustrated invoice head of 1862 notes an Iron Chair patented by Brown Bros. but also shows a charge for a carpenter to fit bookshelves and a berth in the cabin. So it is not unreasonable to surmise that he may also have made furniture.
Maynard undertook to fit your cabin for the journey east and like their competitors offered to do it at the shortest notice. From their adverts we know that they offered 'every new and improved Invention for Cabin Furniture'. This included the following items:
A new Camp Couch, combining a Swing Cot, Sofa, and portable Field Bed, superior to any hitherto introduced
A single or double Sea Couch, with Drawers on a new principle (described now as a Cabin Bed)
A Swinging Cot
A Sleeping Couch with Drawers, and Chintz Covers (described now as a Cabin Bed)
Mahogany Table, containing Washstand (possibly refers to a Ship's Table or it could be a similar item to No. #)
Double Chest of Drawers
Strong Sea Chest
Writing Desk or Case.
Pair of Bullock Trunks
Chairs or Portable Stools
Mahogany Swinging Table
Chest of Drawers
Slide Glass (possibly refers to typical travel mirror with protective cover or boxed mirror)
Sponge Bath with Lid
Iron Japanned Washstand with Fittings
Brown's Patent Chair with Carpet Cushions and Valise
Condensed Travelling Equipage for those using the Overland Route,
comprising a Bedstead, a Chair, a Washing Apparatus, and a Table,
with a liberal supply of Apparel for the Journey, within a single pair of
serviceable Light Trunks
The Mosquito Envelope, recommended by Mr. Levinge and Mr. Fellowes
Maynards underwent various name and address changes through their history which extended to the majority of the 19th century. The firm had their origins in textiles and are recorded as early as 1815 as Maynard R. Draper, 8 Ludgate Street, London. By 1828 their name had changed briefly to Maynard & Pyne and they had changed their listing to East India & British Shawl &c. Warehouse. It seems probable that they started off by selling textiles from India and then expanded to become East India agents sensing an opportunity. This naturally led on to becoming outfitters to those travelling to the East. Their trade directory entries and adverts would seem to back this theory. In 1831 R. Maynard advertised that he 'respectfully announces that he has removed from 8. Ludgate - Street, to Premises, 27, Poultry, under the Firm of Maynard and Co. for the Supply of entire Outfits for Ladies and Gentlemen, with every new and improved Invention for Cabin Furniture, on such a principle of decided economy, consistent with the superiority of the articles, as to place the system on a permanent basis'. This move coincided with Thomas Hosmer Shepherd's drawing of the Wren church St. Mildred, Poultry which also showed Maynard's premises and sign to the left side. J. Gough engraved the picture for Shepherd's series of the print London and its Environs in the Nineteenth Century" (London : 1829-1832). Maynard also made sure to advertise his location next to Mansion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor of London and opposite the India House. In 1843, through the India Office & Burma Office List, the company noted 'An Alteration in the Firm of this Establishment has been occasioned by the introduction of Mr. Harris (who has been many years engaged in the business) into Partnership. Maynard and Harris lasted for approximately 15 years until they became Maynard, Harris and Grice. In 1847 they had also moved east to premises at nearby 126 Leadenhall Street which they described as more eligible and extensive. They stayed at this address for over forty years and when the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company moved into adjoining offices in 1854 they made sure to mention it in their advertising. In 1880 they expanded premises to incorporate 127 Leadenhall and by 1884 had taken on another property at I Bevis Marks EC. This was perhaps a factory or store. However, times were changing and as the company had been quick to spot the opportunity to grow as East India Agents early in their history, they moved to take advantage of the increased emigration to Canada towards the end of the 19th century. James Inch and Ernest Hinscliffe Hindley had been running the company by the 1880s but took out a notice in the London Gazette in 1891 stating the company of Maynard, Harris & Co. was dissolved by mutual consent as of the 31st of May. James Inch and Co. were to carry on as a separate firm of Canadian agents and Outfitters at 113, Fenchurch Street. Times were changing and whether it was due to business or personal reasons, the company of Maynard, Harris & Co. was at an end. The fact that James Inch was declared bankrupt two years later suggests it may have been for business reasons. However, they had been successful for three quarters of a century providing travellers with all they might need from furniture to information and contacts. The beginning of the 20th century saw the disappearance of many campaign furniture makers as travel time decreased and indigenous industries in the colonials were well established. Warfare was also changing as the British learnt in South Africa.
1814 Trade Directory listing as Maynard R. Draper 8 Ludgate Street
1828 Maynard & Pyne listed under East India & British Shawl &c. Warehouse 8 Ludgate Street
1831 Name changed to Maynard & Co. removed from 8 Ludgate Street to 27, Poultry
1843 Name changed to Maynard & Harris
1847 Address changed to 126 Leadenhall Street
1852 to 1858 Name changed to Maynard, Harris & Grice
1871 to 1880 Name changed back to Maynard Harris & Co.
1880 Expanded to incorporate 127 Leadenhall Street
1883 by this date, if not before, James Inch & Ernest Hinscliffe Hindley are partners running the company
1884 An additional address of 1 Bevis Marks EC is also listed
1891 Company dissolved on 31st May. Former partner James Inch set up on his own account as a Canadian Agent and Outfitter at 113 Fenchurch Street as James Inch & Co. Inch retained the property at 1 Bevis Mark for his new business
1893 James Inch declared bankrupt