Antique English Victorian Colonial Mahogany & Brass Military Campaign Chest of Drawers with Original Transportation Case (Circa 1850)


Contact Dealer To Purchase

Object Description

This is a fine quality and rare antique English Victorian colonial mahogany and brass military campaign two-part chest of drawers, with its extremely rare original transportation case, circa 1850, in excellent condition.

• Item: Campaign Chest
• Circa: 1850
• Provenance: English
• Wood: Solid mahogany
• Original transportation case (extremely rare)
• Dismantles into two sections
• Two-over-three drawer design
• Single piece top
• Original recessed shaped brass handles
• Original brass bindings & corner brackets
• Scribe moulded drawer fronts
• Original working lever locks with keys
• Hand dovetailed drawer construction
• Mahogany lined drawers
• Replacement turned feet (removable)
• Lovely rich colour & grain configuration
• Excellent condition
• Free delivery to mainland England, Wales & southern Scotland*
• Free 14-day UK returns period

This is a fine quality and rare antique English Victorian colonial mahogany and brass military campaign two-part chest of drawers, with its extremely rare original transportation case, circa 1850, in excellent condition. Nearly all campaign chests were originally made with a transportation chest, in order to keep the chest of drawers safe, whilst in transit. However, they are nearly always lost over the years, because they were taken out of the case, separated and forgotten about. Constructed of solid mahogany with a single piece top, it features the original recessed shaped brass handles, with brass corner brackets and further brass strap-work. The drawers incorporate fine scribe moulding to the drawer perimeters. The brass corner brackets and brass straps were used to protect the chest whilst in transit during campaigns. The drawers are constructed of solid mahogany with hand-dovetailed drawer linings and the piece features its original mahogany backboards. The drawers are in good working order, they are clean inside and close flush to the frame. The drawers also benefit from the original working lever locks (with working key). The chest stands on replacement turned feet, which can be removed by unscrewing. The chest splits into two sections for easy transportation and, amazingly, is still with its original two-piece transportation case, which is extremely rare (we have never encountered a military chest which still retains its carrying case, before). The two section of the carrying case both feature twin doors, with sliding latches to the left-hand door and lever locks to the right-hand door. It also retains the original brass carrying handles, as well as metal strapwork for additional strength. The case is painted in a cream colour. Chests that were constructed in the colonies, such as this one, were usually constructed of solid Mahogany. The chest benefits from a rich brown Mahogany colour, with a wonderful grain configuration to the front and sides, having been polished in in our workshops.

This item would look superb in a variety of rooms, especially the bedroom. This campaign chest of drawers would certainly grace any home. So, don’t miss out on your chance to own a lovely piece of furniture.

Height = 103.9cm or 30⅞” or 3ft 4⅞”
Width = 99.2cm or 39” or 3ft 3”
Depth = 45cm or 17¾” or 1ft 5¾”
Case Height = 113.6cm or 44¾” or 3ft 8¾”
Case Width = 109.5cm or 43⅛” or 3ft 7⅛”
Case Depth = 53cm or 20⅞” or 1ft 8⅞”
Case Internal Height = 51.1cm or 20⅛” or 1ft 8⅛”
Case Internal Width = 100.6cm or 39⅝” or 3ft 3⅝”
Case Internal Depth = 47.5cm or 18¾” or 1ft 6¾”

The price for this item is £4,450 including free delivery to England, Wales & Southern Scotland*.

Free UK Delivery*:
We offer free delivery to mainland England, Wales, and Southern Scotland (anywhere south of Stirling). *We do not offer free delivery to locations north of Stirling in Scotland, Northern Ireland, or any British Islands off the mainland; for example, the Isle of Man, Isle of White and Channel Islands. If you live in one of the areas where we do not offer free delivery, please contact us for a delivery quote before purchasing the item. Delivery will be made by our specialised antique furniture delivery service, or in some cases we will use a courier service for distant deliveries.

Delivery times are usually 1-4 weeks depending on location; we aim to deliver the majority of items within 2 weeks. All items are professionally packaged and fully insured in transit, therefore, we can assure you, your items will be securely protected in transit and arrive safely with you.

Once you have purchased an item, we will contact you by email and/or telephone and provide you with a provisional delivery date, in order for you to confirm if it is suitable for you. Once you have confirmed you can accept delivery on the provisional delivery date, we will book the delivery in with our shippers and it then becomes a confirmed delivery date.

We will also provide you with our shippers’ contact details, in case you need to contact the driver on the day of delivery. It’s helpful if you can provide us with both the landline and mobile telephone number, in case the driver cannot reach you on one of the numbers on the day of delivery, they can contact you on your alternative number.

In order to be able to offer you free delivery, it is based on a 1-man delivery only. For any large items that require 2 people to lift the item, we ask that you are available at the time of delivery to be able to give our shipper a lift off the van and into your house with the item. If you are not able to lift items yourself, we ask that you have someone on hand at the time of delivery to assist our shipper with lifting the item.

Free 14 Days UK Returns & Refunds:
A free 14-day “no quibble” returns policy (from the date you receive the item) is available if you are not happy with this item. We will collect the item free of charge from you (we do not charge a return fee / collection fee). You will be given a full refund as long as the item is returned in the same condition. We will collect returns using our own specialist furniture delivery company. We will not accept returns via a courier service (due to experience of damaged items in transit). This refund policy only applies to deliveries to the UK.

UK Buyer Payment:
For UK buyers, we accept cash on collection or delivery; cheque, credit card, BACS (free bank to bank transfer) or PayPal. Payment is requested within 5 days of the sale. Payment must be cleared before the items are collected or delivered.

International Buyers:
If you live outside the UK and you would like to purchase this item, please contact us before purchasing it, so that we can obtain an accurate shipping quote and delivery lead-time. The shipping quote provided is a global estimate only. The actual shipping cost will vary by country and postcode. Due to the distances and costs involved with shipping outside the UK, a returns policy is therefore not available for international buyers. Before placing your order(s) please make sure this is the item for you. We request payment by bank transfer (we do not accept payment via PayPal, credit or debit cards for international purchases). Payment is requested within 10 days of the purchase. Payment must be cleared before the items are collected or delivered to our shippers. The advertised price of the item does not include the shipping cost, sales tax, import duty or custom fees.

Important information regarding PayPal payment:
We only accept payment from fully verified PayPal account holders with confirmed addresses only. Items will only be sent to the confirmed address registered in PayPal. If you purchase an item and your address is not confirmed, your payment will be refunded and the purchase cancelled. It only takes a few moments to verify and confirm your PayPal details.

About the Seller:
This item is being sold by Yola Gray Antiques who is an accredited member of LAPADA (the UK’s largest Trade Association of Professional Art and Antique Dealers) and CINOA. CINOA is the world association of Art & Antique dealer associations. All LAPADA & CINOA members abide by their strict code of practice by adhering to reputable standards of quality, expertise and integrity.

Yola Gray has dealt in fine art and antique furniture for over 40 years. Yola Gray has a special interest in Colonial furniture, specifically Colonial Four Poster Beds. Yola Gray also provides a variety of fine English Antique Furniture, Art and Fabrics to clients in the UK, Europe and further afield.

Please visit the Yola Gray website at for further items and information.

Ref. 40644

Object History

This campaign chest would have been commissioned for a member of the British Raj or a high-ranking officer in the British Army during the reign of Queen Victoria in colonial India (Calcutta) during the mid 19th Century. Mahogany was used extensively for military chests. “Teak, which had the advantage of only minimally expanding and contracting when exposed to extremes in temperature and humidity, was probably the most commonly used wood. It was resistant to woodworm, termites, and the occasional splash of seawater.” Source British Campaign Furniture, Elegance Under Canvas, 1740 – 1914 by Nicholas A. Brawer, page 97.

Mahogany & teak were used extensively for military chests because they had the advantage of only minimally expanding and contracting when exposed to extremes in temperature and humidity. They were resistant to woodworm, termites, and the occasional splash of seawater.

Object Condition

This military chest is in excellent condition having been French polished in our workshops. There are nominal old use marks to the leading edges, top and corners but nothing significant considering the age of the item (see photos). The chest features the original brass inset handles. All the hand dovetailed drawers close flush to the frame. The drawers feature the original working lever locks (with working key), with the exception of the top right-hand drawer, which incorporates a Bramah lock, which has no key. The chest incorporates replacement turned feet (which are removable) and the original mahogany backboards. The chest benefits from a lovely rich brown mahogany colour and a wonderful grain configuration to the top, front and sides. The carrying case is completely original. Rust is present to the strapwork and carrying handles, as well as plenty of old use marks. It has undoubtedly seen a lot of action and done its job in protecting its cargo; it is very rare for transportation cases for chests like this to survive, so its signs of wear and tear have to be taken in context. The locks to the two right-hand doors are original and working, with working keys. The chest is well made, solid in joint and ready to use, and the carrying case is also solid and ready to be used.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

8:00 - 17:00
8:00 - 17:00
8:00 - 17:00
8:00 - 17:00
8:00 - 17:00

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1829 458 070
+44 (0)7960 738 212

Dealer Location

Unit 4
Organsdale Farm
United Kingdom

View Map