A mahogany Military Chest with folding cupboard by Gregory Kane of 68, 69 Dame Street, Dublin.
This is a large sized chest standing close to seven foot in height with the cupboard section set up. There are three sizes of drawers to the chest with four short drawers above a deeper secretaire drawer and plain drawer. The bottom section of the chest has two long drawers and replaced, removable feet. The drawer linings are made of ash with quadrant moulding to the interior. Although not a common chest to find, the design is recognisable as Gregory Kane and this is confirmed by his maker’s stamp to the red leather desk skiver. The secretaire has pigeonholes above two short drawers with a long drawer below. A secret compartment is hidden behind the long drawer, which has a shorter depth than the two above it. With the drawer pulled out, the board it sits on can be pulled forward and this has an ash compartment to the back. This is a known Kane method and we have seen it used on the short interior drawers of his secretaires before.
To dismantle the cupboard top section, the classical pediment cornice is first lifted off. This is fitted on pins and is hinged for the sides to fold against the longer front section. The top board can then be slid forward to unlock its brass plate fittings from the raised, dome headed screws to the top of the cupboard sides. The panelled cupboard doors can then be lifted up off their two-part hinges to the sides. The stained pine shelves, with a mahogany front moulding, can then be removed. The sides are fixed to the two-part back boards by four thumb bolts to each side. With these removed, the one side will drop on its hinges to lie flat against the top of the chest. The other side is set on a bar so that when it drops it will fall neatly onto the first side. The back boards are hinged to each other so that they too will fall on top of the side boards.
We have seen one other example of this form of Gregory Kane Chest, which dated to 1850. It was slightly different in that it had carved rococo decoration to the top of the door panels and the cornice was also carved in a rococo style. The serial number to the original Chubb lock dates this chest to either 1852 or 53.
Registered as exempt under the Ivory Act 2018